Last night, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun blasted his fourth and fifth home runs of the season against the Pirates. His second one was a two-run home run off of Pirates closer Jason Grilli to give the Brewers an 8-7 lead, one they would hold onto for the victory.
Braun did it again on Sunday afternoon. With the Brewers trailing 2-1 in the ninth, the Pirates called on Grilli to lock down the save. But Grilli left an 0-1 breaking ball over the plate and Braun yanked it down the left field line for a solo home run, his sixth of the season.
All six of Braun’s home runs have been hit in the state of Pennsylvania. He blasted three in one game against the Phillies on April 8 along with two on Saturday night and the one on Sunday afternoon.
The Brewers, by the way, would go on to win 3-2 in 14 innings.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.