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Wearing Yelich’s jersey, Ryan Braun homers to secure sweep

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.

Christian Yelich out for the season with fracture knee

Christian Yelich will not be the Superman that took the Brewers to the NLCS in 2018 again this season.

The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Miami Marlins 4-3 on Tuesday yet took a major hit in their playoff push.

National League MVP Christian Yellich fractured his knee on a foul ball in the fist inning and left the game. The Brewers announced that he will be out for the remainder of the season.

“We’ll fly him back to Milwaukee (Wednesday) for further testing,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said after the game. “We don’t have a definitive timeframe other than we know that he’ll be out for the remainder of the season right now. We also don’t know whether surgery is required. He’ll need further diagnostic imagining (Wednesday) in Milwaukee then meet with our doctors and we’ll plot a plan going forward.”

Yelich hit .329 with 44 home runs and 97 RBIs along with 30 stolen bases this season for a Brewers team that entered the game only two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wildcard spot. He led the majors in slugging percentage and OPS prior to the inury.

“We feel awful for Christian,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s the thing that resonates with me right now. He’s a special player and it’s a joy to watch him play every day. He’s the best at what he does. Not being able to see that every day is not good.”

What makes this extra tragic is the injury occurred at his original stomping grounds. Yellich’s career began in Miami and his last two years with the Marlins were Don Mattingly’s first two as manager.

“Obviously awful, we all know Yeli and what kind of guy he is,” Mattingly said. “You hate to see a player like that get hurt down the stretch. He’s stepped into the superstar realm as a player, and MVP last year. You don’t want to see that happen to a team down the stretch.”

The injury may be the difference between whether or not Yellich wins his second consecutive MVP. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger now has 2 1/2 weeks to improve on his 44 home runs, 106 RBI, 11 stolen bases, .306 batting average and 1.049 OPS.