Yelich makes sliding snag via Perez deflection

April 18th, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- 's first outfield assist of 2018 was one to remember.

It came on a circus play in the second inning of the Brewers' 2-0 win over the Reds on Wednesday at Miller Park, when left fielder Perez converged with center fielder and shortstop on a popup off the bat of . A potentially dangerous play turned into a highlight-reel catch, when the baseball glanced off Perez's glove into the glove of a sliding Yelich, who bobbled it before securing the second out of the inning.

"I thought they really went at it the right way with one guy sliding," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "They weren't going to run into each other. There are going to be those balls -- and they're always dangerous -- that have three guys going to the same spot. Yelich made a heck of a play; I think it just kind of landed on his leg and popped right up to him."

Yelich was making his first Brewers start in center field in his first game off the disabled list for a right oblique strain. He'd already been charged with an error in the first inning on a misplay of 's leadoff double, but he atoned for that mistake an inning later with an assist from Perez.

At the plate, Yelich was 1-for-2 with a single and pair of walks. The only time he was retired was a big spot, batting with the bases loaded and two outs after the Reds opted to have starter intentionally walk hot-hitting to face Yelich instead.

"That's not a comfortable feeling either. Yelich is one of the better young hitters in the game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Just for whatever reason, Thames has hurt us so many times in the last year-plus. Better to have somebody else up there in that situation to have to do the damage as opposed to have to face Thames."

It was the right move. Mahle fell behind in the count, 3-0, but he came back to strike Yelich out, ending the threat.

Next up for Yelich is four games against his former team, the Marlins, who are at Miller Park beginning Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. CT.