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Crew completes turnaround on homestand

After starting poorly vs. the Fish, Brewers finish with sweep of Pirates
@Russ_Dorsey1
June 9, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers reclaimed their identity during their three-game series sweep of the Pirates, getting some much-needed offense and solid pitching throughout the weekend. • Box score Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh at Miller Park. The Milwaukee Bash Bros. It’s no secret that Christian

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers reclaimed their identity during their three-game series sweep of the Pirates, getting some much-needed offense and solid pitching throughout the weekend.

Box score

Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh at Miller Park.

The Milwaukee Bash Bros.
It’s no secret that Christian Yelich has played out of his mind since last year's All-Star break. But a bigger development is that Milwaukee may have the two hottest players on the planet.

Mike Moustakas’ recent run of power has given the Brewers’ lethal lineup another challenge for pitchers already concerned about Yelich.

“When teams gotta go through those guys four times a game, it’s a good thing for us,” manager Craig Counsell said.

Facing an early 2-0 deficit vs. the Pirates, the Brewers’ “Bash Bros.” continued to do the heavy lifting.

On Yelich's bobblehead day, it wouldn’t have been right for him not to give the sellout crowd a show.

After playing the hero so many times over the past year-plus, he played the role of catalyst, igniting Milwaukee’s comeback by hitting his Major League-leading 24th home run of the season leading off the sixth inning to pull the Brewers within a run.

“That’s something completely different. That guy is on a different planet,” Moustakas said. “It’s just dangerous one through 13. It’s fun to show up to work every day and see your name in the lineup and see the other eight guys that are playing.”

Moustakas took his turn playing the hero, crushing a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning that gave the Brewers their first lead of the game.

It was Moustakas’ 20th home run of the season and his fourth in the past four games.

There are four players with 20 or more home runs this season, and the Brewers have two of them. Yelich and Moustakas are the first teammates to have 20-plus homers through the team’s first 66 games since Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira accomplished the feat for the Yankees in 2011.

“It’s been mostly Moose. He’s been swinging it really well,” Yelich said. “He’s swinging it better than I am. That guy is stepping up.”

“It’s two guys having really, really good seasons, is what it comes down to,” Counsell said. “They're doing it with power. They're doing it with an all-around offensive game. Moose has actually been catching Yeli, he’s been on a pretty good clip here the last three weeks or so.“

Arms come up big
It couldn’t have gone much worse for the pitching staff when the Brewers lost two of three to the Marlins last Tuesday through Thursday. The staff as a whole dropped the ball, allowing 25 runs in the three games, but it flipped the script vs. the Pirates.

Chase Anderson continued the trend and gave his offense a chance to come back. He allowed just two earned runs over his six innings.

“This is the best I’ve felt overall, pitching into the sixth inning,” Anderson said. "It’s been a process for me to get back to where I wanna be as a starting pitcher, but today was definitely a good building block."

The right-hander struck out six and walked just one in the no-decision. It was the fourth game in a row in which a Milwaukee starter allowed three runs or fewer.

The Brewers allowed just nine runs during the series and have a 2.50 ERA during their four-game winning streak. Milwaukee has won six of its past seven games against the Pirates.

Milwaukee needs innings from its starters as it prepares for an eight-game road trip. The recent performance helps take the pressure off as Jimmy Nelson eases his way back into the rotation and Jhoulys Chacín and Gio Gonzalez make their way back from injuries.

“You create space during these [National League Central] games," Counsell said. "The homestand obviously didn’t start the way we wanted it to, with two games to forget. I liked how we answered it. We answered it really well with four really positive games. I thought we did a lot of things well this series.”

“It’s tough to sweep teams in the big leagues, so it’s a big win for us, for sure,” Yelich said.

Moose comes up big, twice
Moustakas’ game-winning home run was not only big for the Brewers but for one lucky fan.

Because his 419-foot blast hit the Toyota Rav-4 displayed beyond the wall in right-center, a fan won a new Toyota Rav-4, sending the already excited sold-out crowd of 45,375 into a frenzy.

“That homer won us the game and somebody a car, which is pretty cool,” Yelich said.

“That’s the first time for me [winning a car for someone],” Moustakas said. “It’s pretty cool, though. I hit that one pretty good. I haven’t had a ton of success against [Francisco] Liriano in my career. Just looking for a good pitch, got one and put a good swing on it.”

Russell Dorsey is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @Russ_Dorsey1.