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Christian Yelich powers Brewers to dramatic 5-4 win over Cardinals

Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich reacts after his winning double off the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Milwaukee. (Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press)
Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich reacts after his winning double off the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Milwaukee. (Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Christian Yelich hit his fourth homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the ninth, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a dramatic 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday in Milwaukee.

Ben Gamel led off the ninth with a pinch-hit double and advanced on Lorenzo Cain’s infield single off reliever Jordan Hicks’ glove. Yelich then hit a liner into the gap in left-center, driving in Gamel and Cain.

Yelich tossed his helmet in the air in celebration as Cain slid face first across the plate, giving Milwaukee three wins in its opening four-game set against rival St. Louis. Yelich’s teammates rushed the field and doused the reigning NL MVP with Gatorade in a raucous celebration at second.

Yelich began his day with a long drive into the second deck in right against Michael Wacha, tying the major league record for homers in consecutive games to start a season. He also became the first player to win the MVP award and then homer in his first four games of the next season.

Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong homered for St. Louis, but Hicks (0-1) blew his first save opportunity of the season. Wacha struck out seven while pitching six innings of one-run ball.

Jacob Barnes (1-0) worked the ninth for the win.

PHILLIES 5, BRAVES 1: Bryce Harper homered for the second straight game to cap a fantastic debut weekend and Philadelphia completed a three-game sweep of Atlanta in Philadelphia.

Harper connected on a solo shot to right off Shane Carle in the seventh inning that had the crowd resuming its “MVP!” chants from a day earlier and the Phillie Phanatic dancing atop the dugout. Carle then drilled cleanup hitter Rhys Hoskins on the left shoulder and was ejected from the game, and Phillies fans taunted him with a mock tomahawk chop.

The sweep was complete – and it’s time for an early reunion.

Harper, the hit of the city, is back on familiar turf this week when the Phillies head to Washington for a two-game set with the Nationals.

Jake Arrieta (1-0) walked six, struck out six and allowed a run in six innings. Kyle Wright (0-1) was chased after 4 1/3 innings with five walks and a hit batter.

MARINERS 10, RED SOX 8: Omar Narvaez hit a three-run homer off Rick Porcello in Seattle’s seven-run third inning and the Mariners went on to defeat Boston in Seattle.

Dee Gordon had two hits and three RBIs as Seattle put together another impressive performance at the plate. The Mariners scored 34 times while taking three of four from the defending World Series champions in their first series at home.

Jay Bruce also connected for Seattle, and Mitch Haniger had two hits and two RBIs. The Mariners have 15 homers so far, hitting at least one in each of their six games.

J.D. Martinez homered and drove in four runs for Boston. Porcello (0-1) allowed nine runs, four earned, and six hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc (1-0) allowed six runs, four earned, and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

NATIONALS 6, METS 5: Trea Turner homered twice, including a game-ending solo shot, and Washington beat visiting New York for its first win of the season.

Turner earlier hit a three-run homer and also scored in the fifth to put the Nationals up 4-1. They let a 5-2 lead evaporate in the eighth before Turner ended it with a drive off Justin Wilson (0-1).

Sean Doolittle (1-0) got the win despite allowing successive RBI singles in the Mets eighth.

Patrick Corbin gave up two runs and seven hits over six innings in his Washington debut. Corbin spent six seasons in Arizona before signing a $140 million, six-year deal with the Nationals last offseason.

ORIOLES 7, YANKEES 5: Renato Nunez, Trey Mancini and Joey Rickard hit Baltimore’s first home runs of the year, and the Orioles beat the Yankees in a game delayed more than three hours by rain in New York.

PADRES 3, GIANTS 1: Manny Machado drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded grounder for San Diego in the seventh inning and the Padres defeated visiting San Francisco.

Chris Paddack struck out seven in five impressive innings in his major league debut. Four pitchers combined on a two-hitter for the Padres, who took three of four from the Giants.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy had Nick Vincent (0-1) walk Eric Hosmer to load the bases with one out in the seventh, bringing up Machado. Sam Dyson came on, and Machado grounded to shortstop Brandon Crawford. He got the force at second, but Machado beat Joe Panik’s relay to first as Hunter Renfroe scored.

Adam Warren (1-0) pitched two hitless innings for his first win with San Diego. Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for his third save.

RANGERS 11, CUBS 10: Joey Gallo scored on a wild pitch in the ninth inning, sending the Rangers to the win in Arlington, Texas.

With one out in the ninth and the Cubs playing five infielders, Gallo raced home from third base when Pedro Strop’s pitch to Nomar Mazara bounced past catcher Willson Contreras.

The Rangers took the series after the Cubs’ 12-4 victory on opening day. Jose Leclerc (1-0) got four outs for the win.

Strop (0-1) allowed Gallo’s leadoff double in the ninth, a high drive just over leaping left fielder Ben Zobrist at the wall.

Delino DeShields hit his first career grand slam for Texas. Jeff Mathis and Asdrubal Cabrera also went deep.

Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo homered for Chicago.

RAYS 3, ASTROS 1: Yonny Chirinos covered splendidly for a taxed bullpen, Austin Meadows hit his second homer and Tampa Bay took three of four games from visiting Houston.

The Rays had planned to use an opener for the first time this season, but manager Kevin Cash instead turned to the 25-year-old Chirinos (1-0) rather than push his fatigued relievers. Chirinos pitched seven innings of one-run ball. The only run came on Jake Marisnick’s homer in the sixth.

Diego Castillo, the fourth Tampa Bay reliever, closed out a three-hitter with three outs in the ninth. None of those relievers threw more than 17 pitches.

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was hitless in his season debut. He missed the first three games with neck stiffness. Wade Miley (0-1) made his first start and allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.

WHITE SOX 6, ROYALS 3: Lucas Giolito took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in his first start of the season, and visiting Chicago avoided a three-game sweep.

Giolito (1-0) walked Whit Merrifield on four pitches to begin the game, but then retired 19 straight before Alex Gordon’s single with one out in the seventh. Gordon fouled off four consecutive pitches before lining a curve ball into center field.

Yonder Alonso preserved the no-hitter with a diving stop in the sixth, and he and Jose Abreu homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth off starter Jorge Lopez (0-1).

Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.

TWINS 9, INDIANS 3: Nelson Cruz hit his first homer with Minnesota, and Michael Pineda was stellar in his first pitching appearance since 2017, and Minnesota defeated Cleveland in Minneapolis.

Pineda had Tommy John surgery after his previous start July 5, 2017 while with the New York Yankees, and this was his first time back on a big league mound. Pineda pitched four scoreless innings, striking out five with one hit and one walk. Martin Perez (1-0) followed with 3 2/3 innings of three-run ball.

Cruz, Byron Buxton and Willians Astudillo each drove in two runs for the Twins.

Carlos Santana had four hits for the Indians, including a three-run double. Cleveland hitters struck out 39 times in the three-game series. Carlos Carrasco (0-1) allowed six runs and struck out four in 4 1/3 innings.

DODGERS 8, DIAMONDBACKS 7: A.J. Pollock hit a key two-run double during the Los Angeles’ eighth-inning rally against visiting Arizona.

Pollock tied it at 7 with a shot down the line against Yoshihisa Hirano (0-1) and advanced to third when right fielder Adam Jones misplayed the ball. Pollock, a former Diamondback who signed with Los Angeles this offseason, scored on Max Muncy’s sacrifice fly.

Cody Bellinger hit his fourth homer for the Dodgers. Dylan Floro (1-0), the sixth Los Angeles pitcher, got the win and Kenley Jansen earned his first save.

Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed each had two hits and two RBIs for the Diamondbacks. Luke Weaver homered in his first game with Arizona but allowed five runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings.

TIGERS 4, BLUE JAYS 3 (11): Nicholas Castellanos singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning, Jeimer Candelario had five hits and visiting Detroit defeated Toronto after blowing a late lead.

Castellanos’ decisive hit came off Thomas Pannone (0-1), the eighth Blue Jays pitcher, and the Tigers salvaged a split of the four-game series.

Candelario drove in two runs and Daniel Stumpf (1-0) pitched one inning for the win. Toronto put a runner at third in the 11th but Shane Greene got Teoscar Hernandez to line out for his second save.

Trailing 3-0 in the eighth, the Blue Jays tied it against Joe Jimenez when pinch-hitter Rowdy Tellez hit a three-run homer.

The drive undid seven shutout innings of two-hit ball by starter Matt Moore in his Detroit debut. The left-hander lost his no-hit bid with one out in the sixth when Richard Urena singled.

MARLINS 3, ROCKIES 0: Sandy Alcantara pitched eight crisp innings, Jorge Alfaro drove in two runs and the Marlines defeated Colorado in Miami.

Alcantara (1-0) allowed four hits in his longest outing in 15 major league appearances. The 23-year-old right-hander retired 14 straight before Ryan McMahon reached on a two-out infield single in the seventh.

Sergio Romo retired three in a row for his first save with the Marlins, finishing a five-hitter.

Colorado right-hander Jon Gray departed after he felt cramps in his right calf after a pitch to Alcantara with two out in the seventh. Gray (0-1) struck out 10 and was charged with three runs and five hits.

PIRATES 5, REDS 0: Trevor Williams pitched six effective innings and drove in two runs, helping visiting Pittsburgh beat sloppy Cincinnati.

Williams picked up where he left off last season, when he was the only major leaguer to make 10 starts of at least six innings without allowing a run. The right-hander gave up three hits, struck out six and walked one.

Adam Frazier and Melky Cabrera each had two hits as Pittsburgh earned its first win of the season after losing 5-3 on opening day Thursday. Saturday’s game was postponed by rain.

Sonny Gray (0-1) struggled in his Cincinnati debut, allowing three runs, two earned, and five hits in 2 2/3 innings.

ATHLETICS 2, ANGELS 1: Oakland slugger Khris Davis homered for the fourth time in six games, and Frankie Montas pitched into the seventh inning as the Athletics defeated the Angels in Oakland, California.

Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman had two hits apiece for the A’s, who took three of four from the Angels after getting swept by Seattle in a two-game series in Tokyo to start the season.

Montas (1-0) allowed three hits in a splendid outing. He gave up a leadoff double and hit Mike Trout with a pitch to begin the game, and then retired 16 straight batters before Kole Calhoun homered in the sixth.

Davis hit his third home run in four days, a towering shot off starter Tyler Skaggs (0-1) leading off the fourth. He led the majors with 48 home runs in 2018.

Blake Treinen worked the ninth for his second save.

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