In a way to honor a fallen teammate, Ryan Braun wore Christian Yelich’s jersey under his own and hit a two-run homer to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday to secure the series sweep.
“I threw up the double deuces for him,” Ryan Braun said of his message to Yelich as he crossed home plate. “He texted me, “It’s about time you hit a homer.’ Forty-fifth homer hit in this jersey this year.”
It was Braun’s 19th home run this season but the former Miami Hurricane didn’t hit a single home run at Marlins Park (which opened in 2012) before his last game of the season in Miami.
“I didn’t know that, but they are all big at this time of year,” Braun said.
Brewers starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez also scored on the home run after getting his first hit of the season. The Marlins tried to appeal that he did not touch second base on the home run but was denied.
“I know I haven’t been on the bases but I’m 100 percent sure I touched that bag,” Gonzalez said. “It was a backhanded slap is how I felt. But it’s OK. I can smile about it.”
Gonzalez allowed two runs and seven hits in four innings while pitching in his hometown. The Brewers are 78-68 while riding a seven-game winning streak. They are 10 games over .500 for the first time since mid-June and are tied with the Chicago Cubs for the second wildcard spot.
“What’s within our picture is keep playing well,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “The other stuff doesn’t matter right now. Keep playing like the past week we’re going to put ourselves in a good spot.”
The New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Arizona Diamondbacks are within 3.5 games. The Marlins will play all three on the road to close out the season, with a three-game home series with the Washington Nationals, who are on top of the wildcard chase.