MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich continued to heat up at the plate and created even more fireworks on the basepaths as he helped the Milwaukee Brewers complete a sweep of the Kansas City Royals.
After homering twice on Saturday, Yelich went deep again Sunday in the Brewers' 9-6 victory. He also hit an RBI single and scored on a bizarre play as part of Milwaukee’s seven-run outburst in the third inning.
Yelich is batting .348 (16 of 46) with four homers and 12 RBIs in May. The 2018 NL MVP hit just .228 with three homers and 11 RBIs in April.
“I'm just making adjustments and just trying to find ways to contribute,” Yelich said. “You're constantly tinkering with things and trying to be the best version of yourself, whatever that is, each day. For me, each day's a new day."
Brice Turang added a three-run shot and Mike Brosseau also homered for the NL Central-leading Brewers.
Kansas City’s Salvador Perez homered for the second straight day, Bobby Witt Jr. had a homer and a two-run double and Hunter Dozier also went deep.
The Royals led 4-1 before it all fell apart for them in the bottom of the third. Yelich was at the center of that rally.
After his RBI single put runners on the corners with nobody out in the third, Yelich attempted to steal second. That’s when things got weird.
Royals shortstop Maikel Garcia missed the throw from Perez, and Joey Wiemer raced home from third as the ball went into the outfield. After sliding into second, Yelich got up and took off for third.
The throw from center fielder Nate Eaton took a couple of bounces, went through Dozier's legs and appeared to bounce off the body of Brewers third-base coach Jason Lane. As the ball started to roll back toward home in foul territory, Yelich headed toward the plate.
Dozier chased down the ball, dove and pushed the ball toward Perez, but his toss couldn’t get there before Yelich slid home safely with the tying run. Garcia and Eaton were charged with errors on the play.
“I don't really think (Eaton's throw) was off line,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “I think it just got hidden behind the runner going second to third, so Dozier couldn't find it. He said as it came out from underneath the runner, he tried to block it and it just got through him, and then obviously it got kicked by the third base coach and it was just a comedy of errors at that point.”
Owen Miller delivered an RBI double later in the inning. Brice Turang capped the rally by sending a 2-2 changeup from Jose Cuas over the center-field wall for a 408-foot blast.
Royals starter Jordan Lyles (0-7) allowed seven runs – all earned – in 2 1/3 innings. Lyles owns a 7.14 ERA in his first season with the Royals, who signed him to a two-year, $17 million contract last December.
Milwaukee's Eric Lauer (4-4) struck out six and allowed two runs, two walks and two hits over 5 1/3 innings in his first relief appearance since 2021. Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell had said Saturday the Brewers would skip Lauer’s next scheduled start.
Lauer, who had lost his last three starts, entered in the fourth and didn't allow a hit until Dozier and Witt homered off him in the ninth.
“Overall it was a good job of kind of what I wanted to go out there and feel as far as just getting on the mound, competing and just kind of letting it loose and not worrying about how long I'm going to be in there and how many pitches I'm going to have to throw,” Lauer said. “It's that bullpen kind of mentality that I have to have. It was a good flip-switch for me.”
Brewers starter Colin Rea allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Royals: Start a three-game series at San Diego. Scheduled starters for Monday's game are RHP Brad Keller (3-3, 4.31 ERA) for the Royals and RHP Michael Wacha (3-1, 4.81) for the Padres.