Braun’s slam rescues Brewers
ST. LOUIS — Ryan Braun still stands out at opportune times for the Brewers.
“I’m not as good as I was,” the 35-year-old said. “But in big moments, I’m the guy still.”
Braun hit a go-ahead grand slam off Junior Fernandez with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Brewers beat the Cardinals 7-6 on Sunday to keep up their playoff push by winning for the ninth time in 10 games. The home run also set a Brewers’ franchise record with 232 homers, one more than in 2007.
The Brewers remained one game behind the Cubs for the second NL wild card and closed within three games of the NL Central-leading Cardinals.
With the Cardinals ahead 4-3, Jon Gant (10-1) walked Ben Gamel and Travis Shaw starting the ninth, struck out Trent Grisham and walked Yasmani Grandal.
Tyler Webb retired Mike Moustakas on a flyout, Fernandez relieved and Braun drove a hanging slider to left-center for his seventh career slam and a 7-4 lead.
“We had one bullet left,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Absolutely incredible.”
A six-time All-Star, Braun entered with a .133 batting average in September.
“I believe in myself. I’ve had a lot of success in those moments,” Braun said. “I think I’m able to lock it in a little bit more.”
Tommy Edman hit a two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth off Josh Hader, who struck out Harrison Bader and pinch-hitter Tyler O’Neill for his 33rd save.
The Brewers’ Ryan Braun celebrates after hitting a grand slam against the Cardinals.