Tellez HR, throw spark Brewers over Braves 2-1 in Game 1
Tellez HR, throw spark Brewers over Braves 2-1 in Game 1.
Rowdy Tellez hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and threw out a runner at home plate to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-1 victory against the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series opener on Friday.
Milwaukee took an early lead in this best-of-five series when Corbin Burnes,
Adrian Houser and Josh Hader combined on a four-hitter.
The second game will be held in Milwaukee on Saturday.
With runners on the corners, former Brewer Orlando Arcia grounded to second to finish the game.
That occurred after Brewers catcher Omar Narváez stopped Hader’s 1-2 pitch in the dirt to hold Freddie Freeman at third base.
Neither side had much offense until the seventh inning when the Brewers finally broke through.
After Charlie Morton (0-1) hit Avisal Garcia with a 1-2 pitch to open the eighth,
Tellez broke a scoreless tie by ripping another 1-2 offering from Morton over the center-field wall.
Until the 411-foot shot, the big, bearded slugger had gone 0 for 13 against the Braves this season.
After missing three weeks due to a right patella injury,
Tellez was activated off the disabled list on Saturday.
With two outs in the eighth inning,
Atlanta’s Joc Pederson blasted a pinch-hit home run off Houser (1-0).
Morton’s last pitch to Tellez, in the 85th inning, was one of his few errors of the day.
He struck out nine batters, walked one, and hit one batter in the ninth inning,
continuing his recent string of outstanding playoff outings.
In his first professional playoff start, Burnes was just as outstanding.
The NL Cy Young Award candidate gave up two consecutive walks in the first two innings and threw 40 pitches, but he calmed down after that.
In six scoreless innings and 91 pitches, the right-hander struck out six batters while allowing just two hits and three walks.
Nothing got a runner beyond first base until Tellez homered in the bottom of the first after the Braves had runners on the corners with nobody out but failed to score.
Neither club had a hit until Lorenzo Cain’s one-out single to right in the third inning for Milwaukee.
Eddie Rosario led off the fifth inning with a bloop single to center, the Braves’ first hit off Burnes.
The greatest scoring opportunity for Atlanta came right at the opening of the game.
Burnes walked his first two hitters, Jorge Soler and Freeman,
with Soler moving to third on a passed ball.
Tellez collected a crisp grounder down the first-base line by Ozzie Albies immediately before stepping on the bag.
Tellez threw to the plate as he saw Soler was attempting to score from third.
To complete the double play, Narváez grabbed the one-hop toss and tagged Soler.
Milwaukee utilized its stacked starting rotation to compensate for its lack of bullpen depth,
so the Braves didn’t have many more chances.
Milwaukee is missing setup man Devin Williams and left-handed reliever Brent Suter for this series.
Suter has a strained right oblique,
and Williams broke his throwing hand when he struck a wall the night the Brewers won the NL Central.
Because they didn’t have those two in the bullpen,
the Brewers had Houser pitch two innings to get Hader ready. During the regular season, Houser was a member of Milwaukee’s rotation.