Brewers Final Pitch: Rea strong, bullpen struggles in series finale
MILWAUKEE —Gunnar Henderson is showing a flair for the dramatic in his rookie season.
Henderson hit a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning to put Baltimore ahead for good and the Orioles rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 on Thursday.
Henderson's opposite-field drive came six days after he hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning of a 3-2 victory at San Francisco.
“That’s what you dream of as a kid, is being in those situations and coming through,” Henderson said.
The Brewers took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and were in control for much of the game until the Orioles attacked Milwaukee's bullpen by scoring six runs over the final three innings.
Baltimore's comeback enabled the Orioles to avoid a three-game sweep. The Orioles haven't been swept in a series all season.
Anthony Santander’s one-out RBI double off Peter Strzelecki cut the Brewers’ lead to 3-2 in the eighth and put the tying run in scoring position. Strzelecki (3-5) responded by striking out Austin Hays, but Henderson ripped the first pitch he saw over the wall in the left-field corner.
“Just trying not to do too much,” Henderson said. “In some situations, when you try to do too much, especially in the high-leverage situations, it usually doesn't go your way. Just trying to take a deep breath and just be in the moment and try not to do too much and try to get the job done.”
Adam Frazier added insurance with a two-run double off Bryse Wilson in the ninth. Ramón Urías, the older brother of Brewers infielder Luis Urías, started the comeback by hitting a two-out homer off Joel Payamps in the seventh.
Each of the Urías brothers was a starting third baseman for his team Thursday, with Ramón going 3 for 4 and Luis going 0 for 4.
The Brewers wasted a quality performance from Colin Rea, who struck out eight and allowed just three hits and one walk in five shutout innings. Rea was in line to win his fourth straight start until the Brewers' bullpen faltered.
Rea left after throwing 84 pitches, including 59 strikes. Although Rea has worked at least five innings in nine of his 10 starts this year, he hasn’t thrown more than 93 pitches or worked more than six innings in a game all season.
“His fastball was very good today," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He did a nice job, threw his five innings. They made him work those last couple innings, but overall, great job.”
The Brewers wasted no time pulling ahead as Orioles starter Kyle Bradish retired just one of the first six batters he faced.
Christian Yelich led off with a walk, advanced to third on Willy Adames’ single and scored when Rowdy Tellez grounded to first. William Contreras, Owen Miller and Jon Singleton then produced three straight singles, with the latter two hits driving in runs.
Bradish settled down from there and retired the next 12 batters he faced. He had a season-high 10 strikeouts while allowing six hits, one walk and three runs in five innings.
“We never talk about his stuff as an issue,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It's all about being able to command it and not walking guys — not leadoff walks, not two-out walks, but to be able to pitch to their knees and below and to be able to punch guys out and not have 3-2 counts every hitter. He did a much better job after that first inning.”
Bryan Baker, Keegan Akin (2-1), Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista then combined to allow just two hits in four innings of scoreless relief. Bautista worked around a one-out single in the ninth to earn his 16th save in 20 opportunities.
Orioles: Return home to begin a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals. Scheduled starters for Friday's opener are RHP Tyler Wells (4-2, 3.29 ERA) for the Orioles and LHP Daniel Lynch (0-1, 4.35) for the Royals.
Brewers: Begin a three-game home series with the Oakland Athletics. RHP Adrian Houser (2-1, 3.45) will pitch for the Brewers and LHP Sam Moll (0-3, 4.57) is scheduled to start for the Athletics on Friday.