SAN DIEGO – Get used to seeing a lot of Tyrone Taylor, Milwaukee.
With his increased importance to the Brewers due to the team having to place outfielder Hunter Renfroe on the disabled list ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the San Diego Padres, Taylor bludgeoned a three-run home run against reliever Craig Stammen in the sixth inning. .
It would prove to be the decisive blow as the Brewers won for the third straight time with Corbin Burnes on the mound in a 4-1 win at Petco Park.
Taylor’s start in right field was his ninth in Milwaukee’s last 10 games. With the struggles of Lorenzo Cain and the Brewers trailing since last Sunday when Willy Adames suffered an ankle injury, Taylor, 28, has been given as many daily opportunities as he ever has views.
“Unfortunately we’ve lost some really good players over the last few days or weeks and we just have to weather that as a group,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
THE SCORE OF THE BOX: Brewers 4, Padres 1
Led by Taylor, the Brewers did it on Tuesday.
Taylor has done nothing but punch in the big leagues, but most of his tenure in Milwaukee since his first call-up in 2019 has been spent in a reserve role. Many wondered aloud what Taylor could do with regular playing time, but a crowded outfield image has been a staple of his time with the Brewers.
“I already show up here every day hoping to play even though I knew what my role was,” Taylor said. “I just can’t wait to go out there with the guys and have fun playing ball.”
Cleaning up the batting with the field advantage against left-handed San Diego starter Blake Snell, Taylor pounced on Stammen, a right-hander, as the first batter he faced. After a walk from Andrew McCutchen and a single from Christian Yelich chased Snell with one out in the sixth, Taylor hit a 0-2 hanging curve a few rows deep in the immediate left seats.
“I was trying to get in time for a fastball right there,” Taylor said. “I fouled my foot before that throw and was expecting another one. Then I had a hanger and hit it good. I’m happy to contribute to the team.”
Mike Brosseau also homered for Milwaukee, which improved to 27-16.
Burnes allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts in six innings, the major league leading the 15th start of at least six innings with a run or less by a Brewers pitcher this season. The Brewers went 5-4 in the starts of the defending Cy Young Award winner in 2022.
“When we give the ball to Corbin, I think that’s what you expect,” Counsell said.
All night, San Diego struggled to put good swings on Burnes. The only real problem he faced came in the opener when Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado started the match with singles, but even those were lightly hit against the change.
The Padres got a run on Jurickson Profar’s double play after Machado’s single. Burnes finished strong, striking out 10 of the last 11 batters he faced to ensure he went six innings for the eighth straight start.
Burnes never quite had the usual cutter sharpness early on, but more than made up for it by mixing in high-pitched sidesteps before finally finding the cutter later. His first swing-and-miss on a cutter came in the fourth and he finished with just two puffs on 53 throws.
However, six of nine swings on Burnes’ curveball resulted in nothing but air. It also had a good slider, sinker and change.
“The cutter, we had the feel and shape we wanted,” Burnes said. “The order wasn’t great, but it was definitely a step in the right direction as far as feel. We’re going in the right direction. The curveball and slider felt good. The change came and went. I threw good leads.”
The Brewers’ bullpen, operating without closest Josh Hader while he’s been away from the team with a family medical emergency, worked around issues to seal the win.
“There are going to be situations like this throughout the season for everyone and the teams that win these games are the ones that end up in the playoffs,” said Hoby Milner, who got the upper hand by throwing a seventh without any goal.
Milner relieved Burnes and arguably started the double play of the year, the one that helped prevent the Padres from turning the tide in their favor. After singles from Robinson Cano and Ha-Seong Kim to open the inning, Trent Grisham tapped low ground to the left of Milner. A southpaw, Milner’s momentum naturally carries him to the third base line, but he quickly leapt to grab the ground and quickly fired a handgun at second to start a double play.
“He played a hell of a defensive game,” Counsell said. “That’s what everyone’s talking about right now. Just that defensive play, the athleticism to make that play.”
Trevor Gott rounded a Luis Urías pitching error that led to the tying run coming to home plate in the eighth. The right-hander continued his excellent 2022 season by forcing Wil Myers to strike while swinging on a sinker carrying inside of him.
Throwing from the spot usually reserved for Hader, Devin Williams salvaged the third save by working a perfect ninth, capping a night of filling and stepping up Brewers.
“Just show the depth we have,” Burnes said. “Guys who fall or can’t come on the trip, other guys have to step in. We’ve done that the last two games. We lost a tough game in extra innings last night but we bounced back and got some got a good one tonight.
“It kind of shows the depth of the team. When someone goes down we have other guys who can step in.”
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers vs. Padres at Petco Park: Roster, Score, Updates