Choi’s pinch-hit grand slam lifts Brewers over Phillies
PHILADELPHIA — Ji-Man Choi hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning, and Jesus Aguilar and Jonathan Villar also went deep for Milwaukee in the Brewers’ 12-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
Aguilar also doubled and drove in three runs and Christian Yelich had three hits for the Brewers, who won their second straight over the Phillies while outscoring Philadelphia 24-7 to keep hold of first place in the NL Central.
Choi’s homer made a winner out of Brent Suter (6-4), who allowed three runs on four hits in five innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
Rhys Hoskins returned from a nine-game absence because of a fractured jaw with a three-run homer for the slumping Phillies, who have lost four straight and 10 of 13.
Jake Arrieta (5-4) left with the bases loaded and a 3-2 lead but was tagged for the loss after Choi’s hit, charged with five runs — four earned — on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. It was the first start for Arrieta since his critical comments of the Phillies’ defensive shifting strategy following Sunday’s 6-1 loss at San Francisco.
Arrieta got the first out in the sixth before Ryan Braun reached on catcher’s interference while fouling a ball into the seats. After a walk to Villar, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler visited the mound with Arrieta’s pitch count at 104. Two pitches later, Kapler returned to remove Arrieta after the right-hander hit Erik Kratz for the second time to load the bases.
Luis Garcia struck out Orlando Arcia on three pitches and got two quick strikes on Choi, who was hitting for Suter. But Choi worked the count to 3-2 and then hit Garcia’s 98-mph, two-seam fastball just inside the foul pole and just over the wall in left for his second homer of the season in his 12th game. The opposite-field shot was the ninth of his career for the South Korea-born Choi, who played with the Angels in 2016 and briefly with the Yankees last season.
Milwaukee blew the game open in the seventh with four runs off left-hander Adam Morgan on RBI hits by Aguilar and Braun and a two-run homer by Villar. Braun, who tripled in the ninth, is batting .403 with 40 RBIs in 33 career games in Philadelphia.
Hoskins, wearing a helmet with protective flaps over both cheeks, put the Phillies ahead 3-2 with a one-out, 357-foot drive on a 1-1 87-mph fastball in the third. It was the slugger’s first homer since fouling a ball off into his face on May 28 at Los Angeles. Hoskins pinch-hit the following night against the Dodgers before missing the next nine games. The Phillies went 2-7 without Hoskins in the lineup.
The Brewers jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first on Aguilar’s 11th homer of the season, a two-run, opposite-field shot that ended Arrieta’s home scoreless streak at 15 1/3 innings. Arrieta’s home ERA spiked from 0.84 to 1.69 and he lost his first game in the Phillies’ ballpark, falling to 5-1 in eight starts.
Brewers: Kratz shook off getting hit both times.
Phillies: OF Dylan Cozens (left quadriceps) was placed on the 10-day DL after injuring himself in the field on Friday night.
Brewers RHP Brandon Woodruff (2-0, 6.05) faces Phillies RHP Zach Eflin (2-2, 3.74) in Sunday’s finale of the three-game series.