Ryan Braun launched into the second half of the season with his sixth career grand slam on Friday night, setting a new franchise record in the process. It was his first slam since 2015, putting him just ahead of former Brewers Jeromy Burnitz, Cecil Cooper and John Jaha, who previously shared a four-way tie with Braun for the most grand slams in club history.
The blast capped a monster of an inning for the Brewers, who stockpiled eight runs in the second as they took the lead and then some. With the bases loaded and one out against Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta, Braun unloaded a first-pitch, 400-foot home run to dead center field to give the Brewers an 8-2 lead:
Braun entered Friday’s series opener with 10 home runs and a respectable, if underwhelming .259/.342/.545 batting line through 161 PA. The grand slam certainly helps, though he still has a ways to go to match the .305 average and 30 homers he produced for the club in 2016.
The run support proved crucial for Milwaukee starter Zach Davies, who handed Philadelphia another four runs in the fifth and sixth innings with a two-RBI single from Maikel Franco and a two-run homer from Odubel Herrera. The Brewers currently lead the Phillies, 9-6, in the bottom of the sixth.
Newly acquired third baseman Todd Frazier spent his first five games with the Yankees on the road, playing once in Minnesota and four games in Seattle. He was set to take his first at-bat as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night against the Reds. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go how he likely expected them.
The Yankees quickly loaded the bases on consecutive singles from Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley to lead off the bottom of the second inning. That brought up Frazier in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. He got ahead in the count 3-1 against Luis Castillo before hitting a sharp grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza. Gregorius went back to second base because he thought the ball had a chance to be caught on a line. Peraza stepped on the second base bag, then fired to first base for the double play. Votto then threw across the diamond to Eugenio Suarez at third base, catching Gregorius out in no man’s land. Holliday scored in the meantime, breaking a 0-0 tie, but Gregorius was eventually called out for running out of the base line in a run down.
Frazier entered the evening with just two hits (both singles) and one walk in 18 plate appearances as a Yankee.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Brewers have agreed to a deal with the White Sox for reliever Anthony Swarzak. The White Sox will receive 3B/OF Ryan Cordell in return.
It’s no secret that the 53-48 first-place Brewers are on the hunt for relief help. While closer Corey Knebel has been great, the Brewers have been shaky leading up to the ninth inning as Carlos Torres owns a 4.65 ERA and Oliver Drake 5.05.
Swarzak, 31, has posted a 2.23 ERA with a 52/13 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings this season. He can become a free agent after the season.
Cordell, 25, hit .284/.349/.506 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’s the Brewers’ No. 17 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.