The Brewers never led in the game until the bottom of the seventh. That’s when Santana stepped up to the plate with two outs and drilled what proved to be the game-winning two-run homer. It was his first home run since June 7 and his 12th on the year.
“He’s got opposite field power. We’ve seen it a bunch this year,” manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s a huge spot.”
Arica and first baseman Eric Thames made sure it would hold up. With the tying run on second base, John Jaso sent a grounder up the middle that looked destined for the outfield. But Arcia somehow tracked it down, spun and threw a one-hopper to Thames, who scooped it up for the final out of the game.
“Off the bat, I was like, ‘Oh, shoot,” Thames said. “I was like, ‘Oh, please don’t be a hit.’ Then all of a sudden I see Arcia going for it. I was like, ‘There’s no way he’s going to catch that.’”
But Arcia did, and in doing so made one of the plays of the year so far for the first-place Brewers.
“I was yelling don’t throw it,” Counsell said with a laugh afterwards. “That’s probably what stands out the most.
“It’s a special play in a huge moment.”
Corey Knebel was the benefactor of the play as he picked up his 11th save of the season to help Milwaukee snap a two-game losing streak.
Junior Guerra got the start, going six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out six.
Milwaukee, which owns a 1.5 game lead on the Cubs in the NL Central, will try to salvage a split of its four-game series with the Pirates Thursday afternoon.