Santana hits first career slam as Brewers beat D’Backs 9-5

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 28: Domingo Santana #16 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a grand slam in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park on May 28, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE — Domingo Santana hit his first career grand slam and the Milwaukee Brewers held off the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 on Sunday, May 28th.

The NL Central-leading Brewers built an 8-1 lead thanks to Santana’s blast and starter Jimmy Nelson’s 10-strikeout performance over seven superb innings. But, it was almost all for naught.

After Nelson (3-3) departed, Arizona scored four times in the eighth off relievers Oliver Drake and Carlos Torres. With the tying run at the plate, Jacob Barnes forced pinch hitter Paul Goldschmidt to fly out to end the threat. Barnes also worked the ninth for his second save this year.

The late dramatics overshadowed Nelson’s dominance. The tall right-hander allowed one run on seven hits, three of them by Brandon Drury.

Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin (4-5) gave up seven runs on 10 hits.

Milwaukee got three hits from Manny Pina and two each from Santana, Jesus Aguilar, Travis Shaw, Jonathan Villar and Orlando Arcia. Nick Ahmed, David Peralta and Daniel Descalso each had two hits for the Diamondbacks.

But the biggest hit of the game came from Santana in the fourth, when he muscled a ball to right-center field for Milwaukee’s first grand slam this season.

That was plenty of support for Nelson, who controlled the strike zone with a fastball in the mid-90s and used the shadows that crept across the diamond to his advantage. He threw first-pitch strikes to 23 of 27 batters he faced as Milwaukee built an 8-1 lead.

Milwaukee’s bullpen made it interesting late. Drake allowed the first five runners of the eighth to reach without recording an out. Torres allowed a sacrifice fly to Drury and a run-scoring double to Descalso that cut it to 8-5 before Barnes forced Goldschmidt to fly out to center to end the threat.

Milwaukee added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning for the final margin.