Andrew McCutchen broke out of an extended slump at just the right time for Milwaukee as the Brewers beat San Diego 5-4 Thursday night.
McCutchen didn’t have a hit in his last 32 plate appearances when he stepped into the box in the bottom of the ninth and the winning run standing on third. The veteran took the fourth pitch he saw from Nabil Crismatt and laced a base hit up the middle to bring Jace Peterson home and set off a huge celebration at American Family Field. It was the McCutchen’s 12th walk-off hit of his career.
He was only in that position due to Peterson’s earlier heroics. After Milwaukee loaded the bases with no one out against closer Taylor Rodgers, Peterson drilled a game-tying triple off the wall in right-center. It was his second triple in the last 2 games, his fifth hit in that same time period and it emptied the bases.
Though Milwaukee’s offense came to life when needed, the club struggled to get much going off starter Sean Manaea. He went 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and striking out 8. The bullpen did its job over the next two innings before the disaster in the ninth.
Adrian Houser gave the Crew a nice start by giving up just 1 run over 5 innings of work. But Brent Suter was unable to hold the Padres down, serving up a two-run homer to Jorge Alfaro in the sixth. San Diego tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly from Sergio Alcantara off Peter Strzeleckis, who was making his MLB debut and also got the win.
The Brewers have now beaten the Padres eight times in their last 11 meetings dating back to last season. It allowed them to move to 3 games up on St. Louis for first place in the NL Central after the Cardinals lost to the Cubs in Chicago.
Milwaukee and San Diego will meet again Friday night.