Woodruff’s HR stuns Ker­shaw, sparks Brew­ers in Game 1

Yuma Sun - - CLASSIFIEDS -

MIL­WAU­KEE — The high-five at the plate from Bran­don Woodruff nearly took out Lorenzo Cain.

It’s not of­ten that re­liever hits a home run.

Bat­ting left-handed. Off lefty Clay­ton Ker­shaw. In the play­offs.

Woodruff stunned the ace with an early home run and Mil­wau­kee’s nor­mally shut­down bullpen held on — barely — as the Brew­ers beat the sloppy Los An­ge­les Dodgers 6-5 Fri­day night in Game 1 of the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

Hard-throw­ing Josh Hader and the Brew­ers earned their 12th straight win, one shy of the fran­chise record set to open the 1987 sea­son.

Woodruff, of all peo­ple, had the mo­men­tum-swing­ing hit.

“It’s some­thing ob­vi­ously com­ing into the day, you don’t know in your wildest dreams that’s go­ing to hap­pen,” he said.

It was the first time in post­sea­son his­tory that a pitcher home­red in a lefty vs. lefty matchup. Woodruff was un­der­stand­ably was pumped as he rounded the bases.

“He was fired up when he came home. He nearly broke my arm,” Cain said.

The Dodgers scored three times in the eighth to make it 6-4, then nearly tied it in the ninth. Chris Tay­lor hit an RBI triple off Cain’s glove in deep cen­ter field with two outs be­fore Corey Knebel fanned Justin Turner to end it.

Game 2 is Satur­day at Miller Park, with Wade Mi­ley pitch­ing for the Brew­ers against Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The Dodgers did some dam­age against the Brew­ers’ bullpen. Mil­wau­kee used seven pitch­ers, in­clud­ing three score­less in­nings from Hader. Woodruff threw two per­fect in­nings and got the win.

“But for us to get a look at these guys out of the ‘pen in a seven-game se­ries, I think that’s a good thing,” man­ager Dave Roberts said.

Manny Machado home­red and drove in three runs for Los An­ge­les. The Dodgers com­mit­ted four er­rors, in­clud­ing two by catcher Yas­mani Gran­dal, who also had two passed balls.

NER­VOUS MO­MENTS

Mil­wau­kee man­ager Craig Coun­sell’s pitch­ingby-com­mit­tee strat­egy con­tin­ued to be a hit, at least un­til the late in­nings.

Fi­nally, the hard-throw­ing Knebel re­stored or­der by strik­ing out Turner. Knebel walked Joc Ped­er­son with two outs be­fore Tay­lor’s long drive.

“It’s the post­sea­son and any­thing can hap­pen, you saw right there. It was a good feel­ing for it to go our way right there at the end,” Knebel said.

STUN­NING HOMER

Af­ter starter Gio Gon­za­lez went two in­nings, nicked by Machado’s home run, Woodruff en­tered in the top of the third. In the bot­tom half, Woodruff made a sud­den im­pact — with his bat.

Woodruff be­came just the third re­lief pitcher to homer in the post­sea­son, tag­ging a three-time NL Cy Young Award win­ner for a ty­ing solo drive. Woodruff pumped both arms as he rounded first base, while Ker­shaw turned away and looked down at the ground.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIL­WAU­KEE BREW­ERS’ BRAN­DON WOODRUFF re­acts af­ter hit­ting a home run in game Game 1 of the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries Fri­day in Mil­wau­kee.

Brew­ers 6 Dodgers 5

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