Adames, Woodruff lead Brewers to 4-1 victory over Yankees

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE – Brandon Woodruff provided a major boost for the Milwaukee Brewers’ injury-riddled pitching staff.

Woodruff struck out 10 in eight innings and Willy Adames hit a three-run homer as the Brewers defeated the New York Yankees 4-1 on Saturday night.

The big performance by Woodruff came one night after the Brewers had to use seven pitches in a 7-6 victory over the Yankees. The Brewers are trying to remain in playoff contention with three starting pitchers (Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer and Aaron Ashby) on the injured list.

“The pitching situation we’re in, of course, it helps a lot,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We got through a game, we won another game without using a bunch of guys.”

New York slugger Aaron Judge went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk to remain at 57 homers. Judge is four homers from tying Roger Maris’ American League record of 61.

Judge’s batting average is at .312 as he contends for the Triple Crown. Judge leads the AL in homers and RBIs (123). Minnesota’s Luis Arraez (.316) has the AL’s top batting average.

“Stats are something that you look at at the end of the year and kind of evaluate how the season went,” Judge said. “Looking at stats, looking at numbers during the year, all it’s going to do is drag you down and get you not focused on the right thing, which is to help the team win the game.”

The game included a bizarre moment in the third inning when Yankees first baseman Marwin Gonzalez was hit on the helmet by a throw from catcher Victor Caratini while standing in the batter’s box.

Caratini had just received a pitch and was attempting to get the ball back to Woodruff (11-4), but the catcher’s throw instead struck the left-handed-hitting Gonzalez on the left side of his head, causing the batter’s helmet to pop off.

Gonzalez was examined by a Yankees athletic trainer for a few minutes before being removed from the game. Caratini reacted apologetically as soon as his throw hit Gonzalez.

Gonzalez left the Yankees’ 7-6 loss to the Brewers on Friday due to an illness.

“He took a pretty good shot, better than I thought,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He had a pretty good mark on his face when I went up there to check on him. Trainers just felt like he needed to get out of there at that point. He wanted to stay in. I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to put him down, but we’ll see how we’re doing through the night.”

The Brewers won despite getting just four hits to remain 1 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres in the race for the final NL wild card. The Yankees’ AL East lead dropped to 4 1/2 games over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Adames opened the scoring in the third inning when he sent a first-pitch sinker from Jameson Taillon (13-5) over the left-field wall.

His 30 homers are the most by a Brewers shortstop, one more than future Hall of Famer Robin Yount had in his 1982 MVP season when led the team to its lone World Series appearance.

“It means the world to me to be right next to a legend like Robin Yount,” Adames said. “He means the world for this organization and this city, so it’s an honor for me and a pleasure.”

New York’s Josh Donaldson responded by leading off the top of the fourth with a homer to left off Woodruff, cutting Milwaukee’s lead to 3-1. Both Adames and Donaldson also homered Friday.

But that’s all the offense the Yankees managed against Woodruff, who struck out 10 while allowing just five hits and one walk. Woodruff fanned five-time All-Star Giancarlo Stanton four times, Stanton’s fourth four-strikeout game this season.

Woodruff’s eight-inning appearance matched the longest start by a Brewers pitcher this season, by Corbin Burnes in a 2-1 victory over San Francisco on Sept. 8.

“I love September baseball,” Woodruff said. “I love games that really mean something and obviously the Yankees coming into town, there’s always that buzz with them. It was fun. They’ve got a great lineup.”

The Brewers made it 4-1 in the fifth as Garrett Mitchell singled and came home on Christian Yelich‘s double.

Devin Williams retired the side in order for his 13th save in 14 opportunities.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees RHP Frankie Montas was to have an MRI on his shoulder after lasting just 3 1/3 innings Friday. … Boone said 1B Anthony Rizzo (back) will likely return Sunday. … RHP Stephen Ridings struck out two and allowed one hit in one scoreless inning during a rehabilitation appearance with Double-A Somerset. He threw 13 pitches, 11 for strikes. Ridings hasn’t pitched in the majors this season as he recovers from a shoulder injury. … CF Harrison Bader (plantar fasciitis) went 0 for 2 with a walk for Somerset.

UP NEXT

RHP Gerrit Cole (11-7, 3.30 ERA) pitches for the Yankees and RHP Jason Alexander (2-3, 5.29) starts for the Brewers as the series concludes Sunday.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.