Hunter Renfroe looks as if he’s getting comfortable in his new surroundings in Milwaukee.
Renfroe, acquired in a trade last December with the Boston Red Sox, had three hits, including a home run, in the Brewers’ 5-3 win over the host Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
The Brewers will look for a series victory on Sunday night. The Phillies won the series opener 4-2 on Friday.
“He doesn’t have to put a lot of effort into it, and it can go a long way,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Renfroe.
The Brewers trailed 3-0 and scored five unanswered runs.
When they brought in closer Josh Hader in the ninth inning, the game was virtually sealed. Hader recorded his seventh save in seven chances and appeared to be completely focused on the mound.
Hader recently became the third reliever in Brewers history to record at least 100 saves.
“He’s 4 1/2 full seasons in,” Counsell said. “No reliever has had a better start to his career than Josh Hader in the history of the game. I’m not exaggerating. That’s a fact. I don’t think it’s really disputable.”
The Brewers will start left-hander Eric Lauer (1-0, 3.48 ERA) on Sunday. Lauer is 2-1 with a miniscule 1.42 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies.
Lauer will hope for the same offensive support the Milwaukee pitchers received on Saturday.
Christian Yelich went 1 for 4 and raised his average to .204. The 2018 National League Most Valuable Player had some good swings on Saturday.
“All he can do is put everything on the table every day to be the best player that he can, and he does that every single day,” Counsell said of Yelich. “That’s all you can ask for as a player.”
The Phillies hope to avoid a home series loss when right-hander Aaron Nola (1-2, 5.52) takes the mound. Nola has been effective in his career against the Brewers, going 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA in eight starts.
Bryce Harper went 1 for 4 with a double and continued a string of games as the Phillies’ designated hitter. Harper had an MRI on Thursday that showed a strain in the flexor tendon in his right elbow.
As a result, Harper isn’t in his usual spot in right field. And because the DH was instituted in the National League, Harper has avoided a trip to the 10-day injury list.
“I’m very, very happy we have one of those,” Harper said. “It makes me feel bad that guys don’t get days off. I mean, that’s kind of how I feel. That’s a spot where Casty (Nick Castellanos) can use it. Or J.T. (Realmuto) or (Kyle) Schwarber. I just want to get back out there and play.
“I enjoy playing the outfield. I enjoy playing right. I enjoy that with the fans and everything. It still keeps me in the game.”
The Phillies received a boost with two hits from Odubel Herrera, who returned from the injured list and will keep platooning in center field with Matt Vierling.
“Odubel can get hot and do some pretty special things with the bat,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.
–Field Level Media