DETROIT — The Brewers beat the Tigers 5-3 with Pete Vuckovich on the mound for his 17th win. Must’ve been an easy win, right?
“People are going to look at that score and figure it was an easy win,” manager Harvey Kuenn said after the game. “But it wasn’t.”
Well, alright then. Harvey set me straight.
Really, even though Vuke never seems to lose, no start of his is particularly easy. Today’s game was a shining example. The Tigers had 13 hits and three walks but left 14 on base, going 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
The biggest bullet was dodged in the bottom of the eighth. With the Brewers hanging on to a 5-3 lead, Vuckovich allowed a one-out single to
Alan Trammell. Jamie Easterly then got the call from the pen and allowed a single to Lou Whitaker. With two on and one down, Dwight Bernard was the third pitcher in three batters and walked Glenn Wilson to load the bases.
“I figured he’d try to jerk it just like the other night,” Bernard said, “and that’s exactly what he did. But it was a curve on the outside corner and he hit it off the end of his bat.”
It may have been off the end of his bat, but Parrish still gave it a ride. The bases loaded blast sent Ben Oglivie to the wall where the ball finally died in his glove for the final out.
The offensive hero of the night was Roy Howell, who had an RBI double in the second to give the Brewers the lead to start and a two-run single in the sixth to give them the lead for good. Both crucial hits were with two outs.
It was another key win as the second place Baltimore Orioles again beat the New York Yankees to remain a game and a half behind the Brewers.
Meanwhile, the Brewers won a potentially important coin flip. In the event of a three-way tie between the Brewers, Red Sox and Orioles, the Brewers would play a game at Boston. The winner would host the Orioles. Since the Red Sox are now 5 1/2 games back, the only tie that is particularly likely is with the Orioles. So this is a big deal.
The Brewers have a day off tomorrow before starting a three game series against the reeling Yankees on September 17 in Milwaukee.