Last strikes: Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 2

PHOENIX – Fifteen last strikes for the 15 pitches thrown by Milwaukee reliver Matt Albers in the Brewers’ 8-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon.

1. After a couple of nights in the desert without a ball leaving the yard, the Brewers certainly made up for the lack of fireworks with the offensive explosion on Wednesday afternoon.

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2. The Brewers hit a season-high four home runs with blasts from Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, Christian Yelich, and Tyler Saladino. The first three home runs came within the first two innings of the game, giving the Crew a 5-2 lead after two.

3. In the first inning Shaw and Santana sent back-to-back pitches deep. Shaw’s was high off the right field foul pole and Santana’s was a no-doubt shot to left-center where Arizona outfielders David Peralta and Jerrod Dyson didn’t bother moving once the ball left the bat.

4. “We had a nice day today. We had four homers and I thought we had some kind of near misses too,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We swung the bats well as far as getting a pitch to hit and getting a pitch to drive. A bunch of our hitters did a nice job today with that.”

5. None of the home runs the Brewers crushed could be considered cheap ones, either. Only Yelich’s registered at less than 420 feet, but his was the hardest hit off the bat. Saladino’s and Santana’s both were hit 429 feet, while Shaw’s was a 423-foot blast.

6. Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff gave up a home run as well, but it was the only hit he allowed.

7. “It was a little bit of a strange appearance. I mean he gives up one hit. It didn’t feel like he was ever completely locked in, but I thought he battled through it really well,” Counsell said. “I thought there were times when he was a little out of sync but eventually he made a pitch in the at-bat to get the guy out.”

8. Arizona’s Daniel Descalso put a 2-2 fastball into the seats in right field to get back two of the three runs the Brewers scored in the first inning. After that the offense was quiet for the Diamondbacks. Arizona only had three more baserunners against Woodruff, all of them reaching via walks.

9. Woodruff exited the game after pitching five innings allowing only those two runs on Descalso’s home run while walking four and striking out six on 94 pitches. The bullpen had yet another strong outing, as well. Matt Albers, Dan Jennings, and Jorge Lopez combined to pitch four innings allowing only three hits while striking out five.

10. The Brewers have opened up this season-long 10-game road trip almost as well as they could have hoped for. After taking three-of-four from Colorado heading to Arizona to take two-of-three from the Diamondbacks was no small task.

11. “I would say these two series, we’ve won the series because we’ve played well here. These are games that we’ve played well,” Counsell said. “[We’ve] gotten contributions from kind of a lot of the units, a bunch of the units have performed really well. I think we’re playing really high-level defense all over the field and I think that’s been evident for a while now. Very well positioned, Tyler Saladino made some very nice plays today, outstanding plays. Lorenzo Cain has been playing a great centerfield. We’re doing a great job in that area as well.”

12. Saladino has been a player that has certainly stepped up since he made his debut for the Brewers. As Counsell said, he’s been tremendous in the field, but he’s hit the ball extremely well also.

13. On this road trip – which is the extent of his playing time on the Brewers – he’s 5-for-12 with a double and a pair of home runs and scored four runs.

14. “[Saladino] has played exceptionally well. We’re not getting him frequent starts, he’s produced in both starts significantly with some extra base hits,” according to Counsell. “He’s played wonderful defense, he really has. Impressive defense at shortstop.”

15. The Brewers now travel to Minnesota for an off-day on Thursday before beginning a three-game set with the Twins on Friday night. Brent Suter (2-3, 5.14 ERA) is slated to start for Milwaukee and Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.43) is set to be on the hill for the Twins. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. CT from Target Field.

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