MILWAUKEE -- Travis Shaw found a perfect way to beat the shift.With the bases loaded and one out in the first inning of Saturday night's 8-4 Brewers victory at Miller Park, the Rockies stacked the right side of their infield against the left-handed-hitting Shaw, leaving only Trevor Story to cover the
MILWAUKEE -- Travis Shaw found a perfect way to beat the shift.
With the bases loaded and one out in the first inning of Saturday night's 8-4 Brewers victory at Miller Park, the Rockies stacked the right side of their infield against the left-handed-hitting Shaw, leaving only Trevor Story to cover the ground between second and third.
Infield positioning wouldn't matter as Shaw ripped a 1-0 fastball from left-hander Tyler Anderson to right for his 21st home run of the season and second career grand slam, giving the Brewers a 5-0 lead.
"It felt good to capitalize there with the bases loaded," Shaw said. "It is a good start for us there in the first inning. Six runs helped [starting pitcher] Freddy [Peralta] settle into the game a little bit."
Shaw's 43-degree launch angle marked his highest career homer, since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015, and also tied for the Brewers' highest launch angle on a long ball this season.
The home run was Shaw's first off a left-handed pitcher this season, as he entered with a .205 average and .521 OPS in 100 plate appearances. Shaw hadn't homered off a southpaw since last Sept. 16, when he took the Marlins' Adam Conley deep.
"He's certainly capable of it," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's hit them in the past."
The ability to hit left-handers regularly was one of the reasons Shaw established himself as Milwaukee's everyday third baseman last season. He batted .235 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 146 plate appearances against left-handers in 2017.
"For the most part, you don't face a ton of lefties in a row," Shaw said. "We've been in kind of a weird stretch the last few weeks, but eventually, the numbers will straighten themselves out."
Hernan Perez quickly made it a 6-0 contest when he followed with his ninth homer of the season, marking the sixth time the Brewers have gone back-to-back this season.
Neither home run might have been possible, though, had Jonathan Schoop not snapped out of his funk with a single to right. He'd gone 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts since joining the Brewers in a Trade Deadline deal with the Orioles.
The six runs were the most scored by the Brewers in the first inning this season and the most the team has scored in the first since plating six opening-frame runs against the Twins on June 26, 2015.
"There were a bunch of good at-bats, up and down [the lineup]," Counsell said. "We did a great job getting to that spot."
Andrew Wagner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.