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Royals’ Jordan Lyles tries to head off Brewers’ 3-game sweep

May 13, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich (22) hits a 2-run home run in the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After the Milwaukee Brewers pulled off their second consecutive victory, this time in walk-off fashion, they will look to complete a sweep of the visiting Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

The Brewers won 4-3 Saturday night, thanks to two home runs by Christian Yelich and rookie Joey Wiemer’s sacrifice fly in the ninth. The outcome followed a 5-1 Milwaukee win on Friday.

“Two big swings, for sure. It’s always great when he’s (Yelich) driving the baseball,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

Yelich has been hot in May, hitting .333 during the month with a .963 OPS, three home runs and 10 RBIs.

“They were both fastballs, I believe, but Yelich is a great player,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “It’s not surprising — he’s done that to a lot of people.”

Both of Yelich’s home runs on Saturday were game-tying shots after the Royals had gone up 2-0 early, and Salvador Perez gave them a 3-2 lead with a solo home run after he returned from being scratched from the lineup on Friday because of blurry vision.

Right-hander Colin Rea will start on the mound for Milwaukee on Sunday in what will be his sixth start for the team after since Brandon Woodruff went down with a shoulder strain. Rea is 0-3 with a 4.94 ERA in 27 1/3 innings.

Rea has made one appearance against the Royals. It came as a reliever for the Cubs in 2020, and he struck out two in one scoreless inning.

Counsell announced on Saturday that starter Eric Lauer will be skipped for a turn in the rotation after going just 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. The left-hander is 3-4 with a 4.72 ERA in seven starts this season.

“I think Eric can be better,” Counsell said. “Eric has been a very good starting pitcher in this league. There’s no question it’s in there.”

Kansas City will counter with a former Brewers pitcher, Jordan Lyles. In eight starts, Lyles is a 0-6 with a 6.20 ERA in 49 1/3 innings. However, he went the distance on Tuesday, surrendering four runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts as the Royals were beaten 4-2 by the Chicago White Sox.

The well-traveled Lyles has made 15 appearances, including 10 starts, against the Brewers, with a 3-5 record and a 4.13 ERA in 69 2/3 innings. He first faced them in 2011.

Despite Yelich’s hot month of May, the team was struggling before this series. Milwaukee dropped seven of the first nine games, including losing two of three games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kansas City came into Milwaukee after taking three of four from the division-rival White Sox but previously dropped series against the Orioles and Athletics.

This is the only series between the Brewers and Royals this season. The teams did not face off last season after the Royals swept the Brewers 4-0 in 2021.

–Field Level Media

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