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Turang, Frelick hit 3-run homers in Brewers blowout victory over Pirates

Turang, Frelick hit 3-run homers in Brewers blowout victory over Pirates


MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers moved back into the NL Central lead with their best hitting performance of the season — and some help from the Cubs.

LISTEN: Bob Uecker on the call Friday on WKTY for Game 2 of Pirates-Brewers. Pregame begins at 6:45 p.m. Tune in on 96.7 FM / 580 AM

A couple of rookies led the way for Milwaukee.

Brice Turang and Sal Frelick hit three-run homers in consecutive innings and the Milwaukee Brewers continued Mitch Keller’s second-half skid in a 14-1 blowout of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. The Brewers had their largest run total and most-lopsided victory since a 19-2 triumph over the Pirates on July 1, 2022.

“I think we’ve kind of been one, two hits away from really breaking out as an offense, and I think early today we saw those two-out knocks,” Frelick said. “It just felt like everyone was fighting at the bat rack to get to the plate, which is a good feeling as an offense.”

Milwaukee’s victory and Cincinnati’s 5-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs enabled the Brewers to move a half-game ahead of the Reds in the NL Central standings. The Cubs are 2 1/2 games back.

Frelick’s homer in the sixth highlighted a night in which he also hit a two-run double and drew a pair of walks. The five RBIs surpassed his total of four in his previous 11 major league games.

Turang went 3 for 5 and scored two runs in his first game since switching his uniform number from 0 to 2, which he had worn most of his way through the minor leagues. His 414-foot drive into the second deck of the right-field stands in the fifth inning extended the Brewers’ lead to 8-1.

“I’m working hard in the cage and it’s coming together,” Turang said. “I feel great out there.”

Turang has gone 11 of 26 over his last eight games to improve his batting average from .198 to .221. The rookie second baseman’s hitting struggles caused him to get sent back to the minors at one point this season.

“It’s a tough league,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “And your introduction to it is challenging. You face some failure and you’ve got to get through it. And he’s faced it. He’s dealt with it. He’s continued to play spectacular defense. And hopefully the way he’s carried himself and his attitude about it is paying off right now.”

Turang’s number change followed the Brewers’ Tuesday afternoon trade of infielder Luis Urías to the Boston Red Sox. Although Urías was in the minors at the time of the trade, he had worn No. 2 while playing 330 games for the Brewers from 2020-23.

Frelick and Turang had plenty of help.

Christian Yelich went 3 of 4 with two RBIs. William Contreras was 2 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs. Joey Wiemer went 2 of 3 with a pair of walks, two runs and an RBI.

The Brewers did much of their damage against Keller, the Pirates’ lone All-Star selection this year. Keller (9-8) gave up eight runs over five innings and allowed the Turang homer on a first-pitch cutter.

At the All-Star break, Keller owned a 9-4 record and 3.31 ERA. He has gone 0-4 with a 9.97 ERA in four starts since.

“His cutter was not as effective as it’s been in the past,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “Because of it, he left a bunch of balls in the middle of the plate.”

Frelick’s homer came off José Hernández.

Pittsburgh actually scored first before getting blown out.

Alfonso Rivas, making his Pirates debut two nights after they acquired him from San Diego, opened the game with a walk and eventually scored from third when Jack Suwinski hit into a fielder’s choice.

The Brewers pulled ahead in the bottom of the first on Frelick’s two-run double to left center. The Brewers added three runs each in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

Brewers starter Adrian Houser (4-3) struck out five and allowed four hits, two walks and one run in six innings.


The Brewers activated 3B/OF Brian Anderson from the injured list and optioned RHP Trevor Megill and IF Abraham Toro to Triple-A Nashville.

RHP Brandon Woodruff (shoulder) has been on the injured list since April 11 but could be on the verge of returning. Counsell said Woodruff is on track to start Sunday’s game against the Pirates.


Pittsburgh RHP Quinn Priester (2-1, 9.19) ERA was set to start Friday against RHP Colin Rea (5-4, 4.76).

TOP PHOTO: FILE – Polish Sausage (2) wins the sausage race between innings of a spring training baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Milwaukee Brewers, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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