WASHINGTON -- Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress called his scoreless inning in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard the highlight of life so far, before catching himself, giving his young daughter a peck on the cheek and clarifying that it was actually No. 2.Outfielder Christian Yelich called it "surreal" to trot
WASHINGTON -- Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress called his scoreless inning in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard the highlight of life so far, before catching himself, giving his young daughter a peck on the cheek and clarifying that it was actually No. 2.
Outfielder Christian Yelich called it "surreal" to trot around the bases after hitting an eighth-inning solo home run.
"It's pretty cool, to be honest with you," Yelich said. "You never expect to be in this game in the first place, let alone homer in it. Definitely one of the more surreal trips around the bases -- probably right up there with your first career homer."
Yelich's home run was the second by a Brewers player in the All-Star Game, the first since Prince Fielder hit a three-run shot in 2011 to earn Most Valuable Player honors. And it was the sixth of the game, tying the all-time record that this year's All-Stars would go on to shatter. Yelich's clout helped the National League start a late comeback capped by former Brewer Scooter Gennett's two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, but the American League prevailed, 8-6, in 10 innings at Nationals Park.
"Running out there was so exciting," said Jeffress, who worked around a leadoff walk in a scoreless sixth with the NL trailing, 2-1. "All the fans yelling, and doing it in front of my family and the majority of my hometown.
"Sitting in that bullpen, I definitely thought about that a lot -- how many people supported me through all those things. This is where I'm supposed to be."
Jeffress was the final of the franchise-record five Brewers players added to the NL squad, and he comes with one of the most compelling stories. He was slapped with multiple suspensions for marijuana use as a Minor Leaguer and was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2016 during his time with the Rangers.
Jeffress has flourished on the field since returning to Milwaukee via a July 2017 trade, earning a contract extension and rewarding that faith with a 1.34 ERA that ranks second among qualified NL relievers.
The Brewers learned he'd been added to the All-Star team on Friday after a loss to the Pirates, part of Pittsburgh's five-game sweep.
"[Manager Craig] Counsell came in and started off with, 'I know you guys are tired.' This was after losing, like, three in a row, and I thought we were going to get chewed out," Lorenzo Cain said. "Then he [said] Jeremy made the All-Star team. The entire clubhouse just erupted with joy. We're excited for him, definitely happy for him. He definitely earned it. He's been through a lot."
Cain entered the game alongside Yelich and Jeffress at the start of the sixth inning and finished 0-for-3. The other Brewers hitter in the game, Jesus Aguilar, was 0-for-2. Reliever Josh Hader pitched with the game tied at 2-2 in the eighth and surrendered a three-run home run to Seattle's Jean Segura after NL first baseman Joey Votto dropped a foul popup along the dugout railing.
"I didn't get any hits, but at the end of the day, I enjoyed myself, had a blast," Cain said. "We'll get a day and a half of rest and focus on playing baseball."
For Aguilar, the NL leader in home runs, All-Star Week was a coming out party. He was the first Brewers player since Fielder in 2011 to participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, falling in a first-round matchup with Philadelphia's Rhys Hoskins.
"I think we put on a good show," Aguilar said. "Now we have to keep moving forward. We're thinking about what is going to happen in the second half."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.