ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Rowdy Tellez hit two home runs and Milwaukee center fielder Jonathan Davis made a spectacular catch, sending the Brewers over the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Wednesday.
Tellez has five home runs and eight RBIs in his past six games.
Tellez hit his 15th homer, a tiebreaking, solo drive in the eighth inning to right field off reliever Calvin Faucher (1-2). The ball struck the outer C-ring of the catwalk at Tropicana Field.
In the second, Tellez homered to deep center off opener Jalen Beeks.
“Just Rowdy getting rowdy and hitting some homers for us is a big key for our offense,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s not going to happen all the time obviously, but he’s in a little streak right now where he’s hitting some homers and that means runs for us.”
Davis robbed Randy Arozarena of an extra-base hit in the second when he made a flying, over-the-shoulder catch while crashing head-first into the wall. He stayed down for several minutes holding his back and initially stayed in the game before leaving in the bottom of the third with lower back and rib cage discomfort.
“Spectacular, scary ... those two words,” Counsell said. “He’s doing pretty good. He is sore. He’s a good center fielder, so I did think he had a chance, but where the ball ended up and how hard it was hit. ... for him to get there and put his health and body at risk is brilliant.”
Taylor Walls had a two-run double in the fourth that scored Arozarena and Harold Ramirez to put the Rays ahead 2-1.
Luis Urias’ two-run homer in the fifth off Shawn Armstrong also hit the C-ring in left-center and gave the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
Wander Franco hit an RBI double in the fifth that made it 3-all.
“We have seven hits, I think we left eight or nine guys on base,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ve got to find ways to give our pitches more runs.”
Jace Peterson added a home run in the Brewers ninth.
“You don’t anticipate the home runs,” Cash said. “But you go back and look at the pitches and you understand why they got a hold of them.”
Brad Boxberger (2-1) struck out two in a scoreless seventh to get the win.
Josh Hader started the ninth giving up a single to Francisco Mejia and walking Brujan, but retired the final three batters to pick up his 24th save in 25 attempts.
HALF ON HOMERS
The Brewers hit four home runs for the fourth time this season. Nine of their 10 runs in the two-game set came by the homer. Home runs have accounted for 49.4 percent of Milwaukee’s total runs (169 of 342).
Plate umpire David Rackley was hit under the chin by a ball off a foul tip from Urias in the top of the eighth inning. After a lengthy delay, he left the field and was replaced by first base umpire Ryan Wills
Brewers: LHP Aaron Ashby (left forearm) threw a bullpen session and could be available to pitch in the next few days.
Rays: RHP Drew Rasmussen (left hamstring) is expected to be reinserted into the rotation this weekend.
Milwaukee will send righty Adrian Houser (4-8) to the mound for the start of a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tampa Bay’s rotation is yet to be determined for its five-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.