DENVER -- At some point early in the Brewers' surprising bid for postseason position, outfielders Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana talked about their individual goals. One of them was shared: Twenty home runs.They reached that target together on Friday, giving the duo something to quietly feel good about on an
DENVER -- At some point early in the Brewers' surprising bid for postseason position, outfielders Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana talked about their individual goals. One of them was shared: Twenty home runs.
They reached that target together on Friday, giving the duo something to quietly feel good about on an otherwise disappointing night as the Brewers' 8-4 loss to the Rockies marked a sour start to a long road trip.
"All my life, I've always wanted to hit 20 home runs," said Broxton, who never hit more than 19 in a season in the Minors. "I've never done it, and it's nice to actually do it in the big leagues. That's really awesome. I still haven't really soaked it in yet, I'm still mad about the loss. But it's a huge accomplishment, and we just have to keep it going."
Broxton and Santana joined Eric Thames (27 home runs) and Travis Shaw (26) in the 20-homer club, giving the Brewers at least four players with at least 20 homers in a season for the 11th time in franchise history. The club record for players topping 20 homers is five, set in 1982 and then matched in 2007, 2008 and 2010. When they last did it, the quintet was Prince Fielder (32), Jon Hart (31), Rickie Weeks (29), Ryan Braun (25) and Casey McGehee (23).
Braun, who was also a piece of the puzzle in '07 and '08, may hold the key to the Brewers getting a fifth player atop the 20-homer mark again. He is the club's next-closest to that plateau, with 13 home runs in a season which has included time on the disabled list for a calf injury.
Seven homers in six weeks would not be unheard of for Braun. He hit seven in April.
"When we put together this team I thought this was something that could happen," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "I thought these guys had every bit the potential to do that. It's good to see they've been healthy and been able to get out there and been able to produce at this level. It's a good sign moving forward."
It was not all good for Santana on Friday, however. His opposite-field home run in the second inning pulled the Brewers into a 1-1 tie, and Neil Walker's single in the third gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.
The advantage was temporary, as Nolan Arenado's triple over Santana's head in the bottom of the third put Colorado back on top for good. Santana misjudged his distance from the wall and mistimed his jump before scrambling to retrieve the carom.
In the fourth, he again appeared to misread a ball off the bat, retreating a few steps on a Carlos Gonzalez leadoff single that dropped a few feet in front of Santana. Gonzalez eventually scored.
"I thought it wasn't going to travel as far," Santana said of the Arenado ball. "Obviously, I could have caught it if I was closer to the wall. I could have made a better jump. But I couldn't."
Of the Gonzalez hit, Santana said, "I've been not reading the ball lately from left-handers. Sometimes I go up thinking it's going to topspin, and then a couple of balls go over my head. … Eventually, I'll get over it."
Joining the 20-homer club only slightly eased the sting.
"Personally, it does [mean something], but at the end of the day we lost the game," Santana said. "That's all that matters. Every game is important to us."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.