There's something about the St. Louis Cardinals that brings out the best in Christian Yelich
The rightfielder continued his early season torque of the Milwaukee Brewers' Central Division on Monday night, homering three times and driving in seven runs to kick a 10-7 victory at Miller Park
It was the first three-homer game of Yelich's career, and he also set a career high with his seven RBI. In five games against St. Louis so far this year, Yelich is hitting .563 while homering seven times, driving in 15 runs and scoring nine times.
Mike Moustakas also for the Brewers, who have won four of five against the Cardinals this season and eight of nine overall.
It was Yelich who gave the Brewers a four-run lead with his first three-run shot in the second inning, only to see the bullpen give it all back in the sixth.
The frustration was replaced by jubilation in the bottom half of the frame with another swing of the bat at Yelich. After Yasmani Grandal singled with one out and Lorenzo Cain walked, Yelich drilled a fastball from Mike Mayers way out to right to make it a 9-6 game.
After Junior Guerra and Jacob Barnes combined to keep the Cardinals off the board in the seventh and eighth, Yelich slammed his third homer of the game to the left center. That one came from John Brebbia, and earned him a curtain call from the crowd.
The three-homer game was 21st in franchise history and the first since Aaron Hill did it on May 7, 2016, at Cincinnati, and the seven RBI also in franchise high reached 12 times. Jesus Aguilar last accomplished that feat on July 7, 2017, at Yankee Stadium
Marcell Ozuna capped the first-pitch homer off Josh Hader in the ninth.
There were plenty of fireworks early on in this one
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BOX SCORE : Brewers 10, Cardinals 7
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The first inning featured back-to-back homers by Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong off starts Freddy Peralta, whose first- inning woes would have been even worse had it not been for Cain's leaping at the wall on a carpenter d riv.
That kept the Cardinals' lead at 2-0, and after a 1-2-3 first the brewers offense went to work against right-hander Dakota Hudson.
Moustakas got it started with a leadoff homer to right-center. Eric Thames followed with a single, and two batters later Ben Gamel singled out at 2-2
A groundout by Orlando Arcia moved Gamel to second, and Peralta singled to center –his first hit in five at- bats this season – to give the brewers the lead at 3-2. Peralta second in the play when centerfielder Tyler O'Neill uncorked a wild throw home.
Cain then singled, with third-base coach Ed Sedar holding Peralta at third with Yelich due up. That turned out to be a prudent decision, if Yelich took a Hudson sinker the other way and out to left center just two pitches later to make it a 6-2 game.
The six-run outburst was the Brewers' biggest in an inning this season.
St. Louis got a run back in the third as it cashed in a leadoff walk by Goldschmidt on a double by Yadier Molina. Peralta avoided further damage with a strikeout of Drew Robinson and a groundout from Dexter Fowler
Peralta and Matt Albers combined on a scoreless fourth and Alex WIlson threw a 1-2-3 fifth before Alex Claudio got himself into hot water by allowing a leadoff single to Fowler in the sixth and then a pair of walks to load the bases.
By the time all was said and done, the Cardinals had it at 6-6 and home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa had been knocked out from the game after being hit in the mask by a Guerra fastball.
The market the third time in a week the Brewers had their game delayed by an injury to a home-plate umpire. Jerry Meals took over for Kulpa after a delay, and only a few pitches into his new role he too took a pitch off the mask on a foul tip.
He was able to remain in the game, however.
BUNDLE UP: Anyone headed out to Miller Park this week for the remaining six games of the homestand, be forewarned: It could be a little chilly inside when you arrive (assuming it's before the game) the team's goal is to keep the roof open as much as possible in order to get sun onto the playing surface. The roof will be closed for the games.
TAKE A BREAK: The brewers were without three regulars as Grandal, Ryan Braun and Jesús Aguilar all were out of the lineup. Grandal did the game in a double switch in the sixth and started the game-clinching rally in that frame by singling.
It was the second consecutive game out of the lineup for Braun, and a scheduled one at that because of the pitching matchup with Hudson. He missed Sunday's game in Los Angeles due to sore back. Braun did see action as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, and struck out.
PITCHERS CAN RAKE: Peralta's RBI single in the second and Brandon Woodruff's pinch-hit double in the fourth was the 10th and 11th hits on the season for Milwaukee pitchers. The Brewers came in leading the majors with a collective .346 average from their hurlers to go along with a .414 on-base percentage and a homer. Woodruff's pinch-hitting appearance was the first by a Milwaukee pitcher since Jhoulys Chacín last Aug. 12 at Arizona, and the first hit as a pinch-hitter by a Milwaukee pitcher since Yovani Gallardo on May 27, 2014, against Baltimore (also a double).
ARMED AND DANGEROUS: O'Neill's second-inning throw – which was about as wild as you ever see by any player in a major league game – no doubt landed on every sports blooper reel on Monday night. It also landed on the bench, as it was lifted from the game in the next in with what was described as right-arm soreness.
This year: 11-6
] Last year: 8-9
Year to date: 293,395 (36,674 avg.)
Last year : 274,185 (34,273 avg.)
Tuesday: Brewers vs. Cardinals, 6:40 pm Milwaukee RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 6.00, 4.22) vs. RHP Jack Flaherty (1-0, 2.93). TV: FS Wisconsin. Radio: AM-620.