The Milwaukee Brewers were in serious danger of continuing their slide in the Arizona desert on Saturday night.
For the third straight game, the Brewers trailed the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the ninth inning, desperately needing to make up critical ground in their pursuit of a playoff berth.
With a chance to gain ground on the two teams ahead in the National League wild card standings, the Brewers had given up the lead three times and lost the lead, 6-5, with Diamondbacks closer Ian Kennedy on the mound.
That’s when Rowdy Tellez provided a lift. Then, Tyrone Taylor finished the job.
Tellez’s game-tying home run in the ninth sent the game to extras, where Taylor’s leadoff two-run homer in the top of the 10th sent the Brewers to a much-needed 8-6 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
BOX SCORE: Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 6 (10 innings)
Milwaukee moved within 2½ games of the Philadelphia Phillies, who lost Saturday, for the final wild-card spot. It also tied within 3½ of the San Diego Padres, who also lost.
Three times Saturday, the Brewers offense took the lead in the first half of an inning with Corbin Burns on the mound. Each time, the Brewers ace gave it right back.
The hardest pill to swallow came in the final of those three comebacks from the Diamondbacks, who strung together four consecutive two-hit shutouts to set up three runs and turn the game in their favor in the sixth.
With his pitch count at 103, Burns allowed a two-out single to Emmanuel Rivera. Manager Craig Counsell elected to keep Burnes in the game, and on pitch number 110 of the day, he surrendered a run-scoring double to former Brewers shortstop Cooper Hummel.
That ended Burns’ outing, but not Arizona’s rally, as Geraldo Perdomo and Josh Rojas hit back-to-back RBI singles to reliever Brad Boxberger in center field to take a 6-4 lead.
Burns’ final line read 5⅔ innings and five runs (all earned) on seven hits and three walks. The right-hander blocked 200 hits on the season with five on Saturday night, but, overall, it was another subpar outing from Burns, who has allowed 17 runs over his last three starts.
The first of the Brewers’ blown leads came in the second. After Victor Caratini snapped a 3-for-42 skid with a two-run double in the top half, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with their turn at the plate and pushed across a run on a Daulton Varsho sacrifice fly.
The Brewers regained the lead when a two-out error by second baseman Josh Rojas allowed Willy Adames to score from third, but an error on the bases cost them a chance at more runs. Earlier in the inning, Andrew McCutchen was thrown out at the plate on a double by Adames with nobody out.
Varsho tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer off Burns, but Taylor answered with a solo blast of his own to put the Brewers up, 4-3, in the top of the sixth.
After Arizona’s three-run sixth, the Brewers slowly pulled away against the home bullpen.
First, a one-out single by McCutchen scored Jace Peterson from second after the Brewers challenged the original outfield call.
Tellez then entered the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth for Luis Urias and took a 1-2 offering off Kennedy for a homer to right center. It was Tellez’s third game-tying home run in the ninth inning this season, all since Aug. 10.
Devin Williams pitched a clean bottom of the ninth, setting up Taylor to put the Brewers back in front, crushing a two-hit slider by left-hander Joe Manpley to left-center.
Taking their fourth lead of the game, this time the Brewers wouldn’t give it back. Taylor Rogers shut the door without allowing a base runner to record the save.
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This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Home runs by Rowdy Tellez, Tyrone Taylor lead comeback win for Brewers