MILWAUKEE (AP) — Corbin Burnes pitched into the eighth inning, Andrew McCutchen and Mike Brosseau homered, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Saturday.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner extended his winning streak to a season-high three games, but he wasn’t as crisp as in a 2-0 win over the Cardinals on Monday.
“He's picked up right where he left off last year,” Brewers manager Craig Counselll said. “In the middle innings, I thought he really got cooking.”
In his first career start against Toronto, Burnes (6-4) allowed home runs to Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette and an RBI groundout by Cavan Biggio. He struck nine and walked two, then turned over a 5-3 lead with runners at first and second and two outs in the eighth to Devin Williams, who fanned Alejandro Kirk.
“Those two lazy pitches that were hit out for homers, other than that, it was pretty good,” Burnes said. “Lot of room to grow with the cutter. It was kind of all over the place. I got lazy with it.”
Chapman doubled with two outs and scored on a base hit by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. off Josh Hader, but the closer escaped with his 22nd save when Gabriel Moreno grounded out to first.
Five days earlier, Burnes stymied the Cardinals on two hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings.
The Brewers gave him an early 5-0 lead.
Brosseau’s home run leading off the third chased Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi (2-4).
McCutchen hit his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the second. Willy Adames had an RBI single before McCutchen’s homer.
Tyrone Taylor’s hit drove in a run in the first for Milwaukee.
Kikuchi allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits with five strikeouts, a walk, a wild pitch and a hit batter. He slipped to 1-3 in his last seven starts.
“You got to keep working at it," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said of his pitcher. “Again, I’m not going to sit here and make excuses for him. He hasn’t pitched well. He put us in a tough spot today.”
Kikuchi knows it.
“I’ve struggled the last few outings mostly with command, falling behind in the count and then pitches where I try to get back into the count are the ones that are getting hit pretty hard," he said through an interpreter.
Toronto’s bullpen shut down Milwaukee’s offense the rest of the game. Trent Thorton relieved Kikuchi and handled the third and fourth. Max Castillo pitched scoreless ball in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.
Kirk was back in the lineup as Toronto’s DH. In Friday night’s 9-4 win, his hand got clipped by the backswing from Jonathan Davis in the seventh. Kirk stayed behind the plate for the rest of Davis’ at-bat, but he was replaced by Moreno when the Blue Jays went to the bullpen. Precautionary X-rays were negative.
Blue Jays: Gurriel got hit near his right elbow as he checked his swing in the third. After attention from the trainer, he stayed in the game. ... OF George Springer was out of the lineup for a third consecutive game with an elbow issue. ... INF Santiago Espinal got the day off. “We’re going to play 18 or 19 (in a row) so everybody’s going to get a day,” Montoyo said. Espinal pinch hit in the ninth.
Brewers: Brosseau got hit in the back in the first. ... OF Hunter Renfroe missed a third straight game with a calf injury.
BLUE JAYS ROSTER MOVES
C Zack Collins was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and activated for the game. INF Otto Lopez was optioned to Buffalo.
BREWERS ROSTER MOVES
RHP Trevor Gott (right groin) and RHP Jandel Gustave (right hamstring) were reinstated from the 15-day injured list. RHP Peter Strzelecki was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. RHP Miguel Sánchez was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 22, with right UCL discomfort.
RHP José Berríos starts for the Blue Jays and RHP Chi Chi González (0-1, 7.36) goes for the Brewers when the three-game series concludes on Sunday.
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Joe Totoraitis, The Associated Press