Braun slam ties Yount, wins game
MILWAUKEE—Ryan Braun was the right guy up at the right time. Just like Robin Yount used to be.
Braun hit a grand slam to tie Yount’s franchise home run mark, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday and a sweep of the season series.
“Robin is obviously the greatest player in franchise history. Played here for 20 years, accomplished some amazing things,” Braun said. “Any time you are mentioned alongside his name it’s definitely a special accomplishment.”
Braun finished with five RBIs. His 251st career homer came with two outs in the fifth when he hit Aaron Harang’s offering off the scoreboard girder in left-center field.
“I didn’t hit too many on the barrel this series, so I guess if I’m only going to hit one on the barrel I might as well make it when the bases are loaded,” Braun said.
Harang (5-14) had been solid for the Phillies until that point. The right-hander leads the majors in losses, as does Philadelphia, which has dropped five of its last six and is 46-72 overall.
“Not a whole lot to talk about,” Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. “The grand slam was obviously the whole game.”
Leading 1-0 following Braun’s RBI force out in the first, Milwaukee scored five times in the fifth, capped by the All-Star’s big blast.
Yount spent his entire 20-year career with the Brewers, winning two MVP awards. Braun, the NL Rookie of the Year in 2007 and NL MVP in 2011, has said he would like to remain in Milwaukee the rest of his career. He begins a five-year contract extension next season.
“We put a big inning together, and got the right guy up at the right time,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
While Braun is expected to be a key contributor for years as Milwaukee enters a rebuilding period, Taylor Jungmann (7-4) is still working to cement himself in next season’s rotation.
After a rough outing against the Cubs last week, Jungmann was dominant —- striking out the side in both the first and third innings and working out of a two-on jam in the fourth.
“The breaking ball was real good,” Counsell said. “We talked about the command of the breaking ball and he was able to use it for strikes and he was able to start it in the zone and finish it out of the zone for strikeouts.”
Jungmann finally flashed a grin after catching a sizzling comebacker from Andres Blanco to start the seventh. It would be his final out, but he left to a standing ovation following a single to Domonic Brown.
“As a starter you know it’s going to take five more days before you get another chance,” Jungmann said. “So having a bounce back outing is a good feeling.”
Philadelphia dropped all seven games to Milwaukee this year and was swept in a season series of six-plus games for the first time since 2005.
The Phillies had just four hits and two errors until the ninth. Blanco hit a solo homer with one out and Philadelphia loaded the bases against Neal Cotts with two outs.
Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez got Cesar Hernandez to ground out to end it for his 29th save in 29 opportunities.
“We made them a little nervous at the end there,” Mackanin said. “But, I’d rather win the game than make them nervous.”
Philadelphia was outscored 41-23 over seven games against the Brewers this year.
Phillies: Veteran 2B Chase Utley (right ankle) had a scheduled day off. Utley, the subject of continued trade rumors, is 13 of 26 with five doubles, a homer and five RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak since he returned from the disabled list.
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy has been frustrated with his play of late. He’s healthy now, but injuries set him back earlier this season. He hurt his right hamstring in spring training and missed another 38 games this season with a broken left big toe. Against the Phillies on Sunday, he tripled and scored twice, but is just 4 for 28 in his last nine games.
Phillies: Philadelphia gets a day off on Monday before beginning a two-game interleague set at home against Toronto. 3B Maikel Franco (left wrist) is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday.
Brewers: Milwaukee continues its six-game homestand on Monday against the Miami Marlins. Brewers RHP Matt Garza (6-12, 4.82 ERA) squares off against LHP Justin Nicolino (1-1, 4.86).