The Milwaukee Brewers hit five grand slams in eight games

The Milwaukee Brewers hit five grand slams in eight games

The Milwaukee Brewers hit five grand slams in eight games

MILWAUKEE — It was just over a week ago when the Milwaukee Brewers always seemed to have trouble loading the bases. That may come as a surprise to recent opponents of the NL Central leaders.

The Brewers have hit five grand slams in their last eight games, most recently Sunday by Brice Turang, who capped a seven-run, fourth-inning explosion in a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

“We made a big adjustment with the bases loaded,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy joked after the game. “It’s a secret plan: how to hit home runs with the bases loaded. It’s been working. We bought it. It was a recipe online and we got it.”

The only previous team in Major League history to hit five grand slams in an eight-game streak was the 2020 San Diego Padres, an accomplishment that earned them the nickname “Slam Diego Padres.”

Milwaukee has an MLB-leading six grand slams this season. The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles entered Sunday with five each.

Turang’s slam gave the Brewers five home runs in his last seven bases-loaded plate appearances. Turang was down to three men again in the eighth and struck out.

It’s a stunning turnaround for a team that hit just .164 with one home run in its first 64 plate appearances with the bases loaded.

After initially joking about Milwaukee’s reversal of fortunes, Murphy noted that the Brewers are doing a better job of waiting for the right pitches in those situations.

“Most home runs are hit,” Murphy said. “I think if you look at all those grand slams that we’ve hit, I think you see where the pitches are and you have to be ready when you get that opportunity. Sometimes you don’t get the chance because you swing at a different pitch to get out. If you hit that launch, you have the opportunity to do something special.

Turang started the flurry in the ninth inning of a 6-4 loss at San Diego on June 22. Rhys Hoskins’ grand slam in the sixth inning put the Brewers ahead for good in a 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday. Jake Bauers hit a grand slam two days later in a 10-inning, 6-5 victory over the Rangers. Rookie Jackson Chourio hit his first career grand slam on Friday to give Milwaukee a 4-2 win over the Cubs.

On Sunday, it was Turang’s turn again. He has three 12-homer grand slams in his career. Turang credited his teammates for getting on base before him.

“You have to load the bases first before you can hit a grand slam,” Turang said. “Guys are on base and we’re getting quality at-bats. We’re trying to hit the ball hard, and we caught a couple and hit some grand slams. It’s fun, man.”

The Brewers are doing a better job of putting men on base than in recent seasons.

Milwaukee came out of Sunday’s game fifth in the majors in batting average (.255) and fourth in on-base percentage (.332). Last year, the Brewers won the NL Central despite ranking 23rd in hitting (.240) and 17th in OBP (.319).

The Brewers are scoring 4.8 runs per game, down from 4.5 last season.

“I think our offense is pretty dynamic,” said Christian Yelich, who hit a two-run homer Sunday. “We have a lot of athleticism throughout — speed, guys who are really quick, guys who can hit for power, guys who have a really good hitting tool. We keep working throughout the game, putting pressure on the other team. It can happen at any time in the game. It happens fast. It takes a few pitches and then a crooked number shows up on the scoreboard.”

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