SAN DIEGO (AP) — Milwaukee’s bold offseason moves for Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain are working quite well so far.
Yelich tied his career high with five hits to lead a dominating performance by the Nos. 2-3-4 hitters for the Brewers, who swept the San Diego Padres with a 7-3 victory Saturday night.
Yelich scored three times and drove in two runs as Milwaukee improved to 3-0 for the first time since it won its first five games in 2006. Cain had three hits and two RBIs, and Travis Shaw drove in three runs.
“It could be a fun year for the middle of the order,” Shaw said. “Tonight’s special; 2-3-4 get on, what, 10 times? Yelich with five hits. His bat-to-ball skills are unbelievable. He finds a way to get the barrel to the ball every single time no matter the count. He’s fun to watch.”
The Brewers bolstered their outfield when they acquired Yelich in a January trade with Miami and signed Cain to an $80 million, five-year contract during free agency.
Yelich matched the career high he set when he had five hits for the Marlins against Philadelphia on Oct. 3, 2015.
“Anytime you do that there’s always a little luck involved,” he said. “There’s some ground balls that just missed some people’s gloves and they find some grass out there, but it’s a good feeling. You get on base in front of the big guys, with Lo Cain, and start putting pressure on the other team every time you get out there and usually good things happen when you do that.”
Yelich had his first three hits off Luis Perdomo (0-1), including a single in the first, a single in the third and an RBI double in the fourth. He then singled off Robbie Erlin in the sixth and added an RBI single in the eighth to chase Erlin, who missed all of 2017 while rehabbing from reconstructive elbow surgery.
Shaw singled in Yelich in the first and brought in Yelich and Cain in the third with a double that bounced over the left-field fence. Cain singled in Yelich in the fourth and added an RBI single in the eighth.
Yelich, Cain and Shaw had 10 of the Brewers’ 12 hits. Cain and Shaw each walked once.
“They’re a good team,” San Diego 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.”
With the Padres facing a right-hander, Ryan Braun was out of the lineup and left-handed hitting Eric Thames started at first and batted leadoff. Braun’s impressive three-run homer capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning Friday night that gave Milwaukee an 8-6 win.
Braun is impressed with Yelich.
“He has a picture-perfect swing,” Braun said. “It’s what you’d try to teach kids. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Brewers left-hander Brent Suter (1-0) went five innings, allowing three runs and three hits. He combined with Josh Hader and Jacob Barnes on a six-hitter.
Freddy Galvis hit a two-run homer for San Diego in the second, and Eric Hosmer doubled home a run in the third.
Perdomo allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings.
“It’s two years on the roster. It’s time for him to go, it’s time for him to step up and attack,” Green said of Perdomo. “The challenge is there out in front of him.”
Erlin was a candidate for the rotation coming out of spring straining. “Coming back from Tommy John, being out for a long time, I like where he is,” Green said. “He gave us an opportunity to get back in that game. We just didn’t put much on the board after that third inning.”
Padres: OF Wil Myers will take two days off because of a sore back.
Brewers: Following an off day, RHP Zach Davies is scheduled to start the home opener Monday against RHP Miles Mikolas and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Padres: RHP Bryan Mitchell is scheduled to make his Padres debut Monday night in the opener of a home series against Colorado, which will counter with RHP Chad Bettis.