SAN DIEGO -- Was this the sort of night the Brewers had in mind when they acquired Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich on the same day in late January?"These are nights probably in your dreams, when they get on nine times," said manager Craig Counsell.Yelich matched his career high with
SAN DIEGO -- Was this the sort of night the Brewers had in mind when they acquired Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich on the same day in late January?
"These are nights probably in your dreams, when they get on nine times," said manager Craig Counsell.
Yelich matched his career high with five hits, Cain added three hits and a walk, and the duo combined with Travis Shaw to drive in all of the Brewers' runs in a sweep-clinching, 7-3 win over the Padres on Saturday night at Petco Park. The Brewers departed for Monday's home opener with a 3-0 record for the first time in a dozen years, dreaming of what the next 159 games might bring from their new outfielders.
In getting off to their best start since opening the 2006 season 5-0, and winning their first three road games for the first time since 2005, the Brewers took a 12-inning pitchers' duel one day, came from behind with five runs in the ninth to stun San Diego the next, then cobbled together three go-ahead scoring rallies in the series finale.
"We kind of won in all different ways," said Yelich. "Tonight, it was a pretty solid effort top to bottom. You're not going to win the same way every single night, and we've been able to just find a way the last couple of games. Hopefully, that's a storyline for our season."
Top to bottom, but mostly top. The Brewers' first four hitters -- Eric Thames, Yelich, Cain and Shaw, combined to reach safely 14 times in 20 trips to the plate, with 10 hits, seven RBIs, six runs scored, three walks and -- notably for a team that set the all-time strikeout record in each of the past two seasons -- only one whiff.
Cain and Yelich had a monster opening series. They combined to go 15-for-28 with two walks, three stolen bases, four doubles, six RBIs and seven runs scored in the three games.
"I've said it before, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for me and [Ryan Braun]," said Shaw. "Tonight's special."
"I was adding up our 2-3-4 hitters tonight, on base 11 of 14 times with seven ribbies," said Brewers starter and winning pitcher Brent Suter. "When the middle of the order is doing that, it's a fun day to pitch."
Suter wasn't particularly sharp in becoming the first Brewers starter to log a victory, but he pitched five innings of three-run ball, and the bullpen did the rest. Suter, Josh Hader, Matt Albers and Jacob Barnes combined to retire 19 of the final 21 men San Diego sent to the plate.
In the series, Brewers relievers worked 15 2/3 innings with 19 strikeouts and a 1.72 ERA
"That's a big part of this team, too," Counsell said.
Brewers hitters made 24-year-old Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo grind through 96 pitches in four innings, tallying seven hits and four walks. The National League's leader in ground-ball rate a year ago, Perdomo recorded only one ground-ball out -- the first batter he faced. Yelich followed with another grounder, but snuck it past shortstop Freddy Galvis for the first of Yelich's five hits.
The teams traded leads or ties five times in the first four innings before the Brewers stayed on top for good. They iced the game with two runs in the eighth on back-to-back RBI singles from -- who else? -- Cain and Yelich.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Two outs, never a doubt: Perdomo quickly recorded two outs in the fourth inning, but the third proved elusive. After a Thames walk, Yelich smacked an RBI double. He would score one batter later on Cain's single through the middle. The Brewers' rally chased Perdomo, as his inning-ending strikeout of Domingo Santana marked the last batter he'd face.
"They're a good team," Padres manager Andy Green said. "You make mistakes to the heart of their order, they're going to make you pay. Those are real hitters in the middle of their order. You're going to have to score with those guys to beat them."
Freddy on fire: The Padres brought Galvis on board during the offseason largely for his slick glove. Through three games, he's certainly done his part with the bat, too. Galvis launched a two-run homer in the second inning Saturday night, his fifth hit in three games this series.
"I was just missing at the top of the zone. I could not get the ball down in the first three innings to save my life," said Suter. "I was working on it extensively in warmups, it just wasn't happening until the fourth inning. I don't know what reset, but I found it those fourth and fifth innings, and luckily I was able to keep us in the ballgame because of our lineup."
Brewers:Zach Davies gets the ball for the Brewers' 49th home opener since the franchise moved to Milwaukee, a 1:10 p.m. CT tilt against the Cardinals on Monday at Miller Park. Davies, who led the Brewers in wins, starts and innings last season, lined up for this assignment perfectly after missing one turn through the spring rotation with a minor oblique issue. Miles Mikolas starts for St. Louis.
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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.