The Milwaukee Brewers highlighted the first two games of their weekend encounter with the New York Yankees by seeing Willy Adames produce big hits and keeping Aaron Judge's bat relatively quiet.
The Brewers hope to see both things repeat themselves Sunday afternoon when they go for the sweep of the visiting Yankees.
Adames has driven in seven runs in the first two games of the series. He hit a three-run homer in Saturday's 4-1 win for the Brewers (78-67).
Adames has 30 homers after connecting in both games of the series, breaking the team single-season record held by Robin Yount (1982) for homers by a shortstop.
"You hit 30 homers at that position, it's really impressive," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "There are great shortstops in the game, and I think he's putting himself in that conversation with the season that he's having and the defense he's playing. We're lucky he's here."
Seven of those homers are in his past 27 games, a stretch in which Adames is batting .303 (33-for-109) with 25 RBIs. He also has four homers during a modest eight-game hitting streak that has seen Adames bat .379 (11-for-29) with 13 RBIs.
"For him to deliver like that when we got that big at-bat with me on base is pretty incredible," Counsell said of Adames, who has eight career homers against the Yankees.
Judge enters Sunday with 57 homers and a 17-game on-base streak. He singled and walked Saturday. During the on-base streak, Judge is batting .457 (27-for-59) with eight homers and 14 RBIs in that span to raise his average from .294 to .312.
Judge's ability to get on base is running counter to New York's ability to produce in clutch situations. After hitting .406 (13-for-32) with runners in scoring position during a four-game winning streak, the Yankees (87-58) are 2-for-19 in this series as Giancarlo Stanton is 0-for-8 with five strikeouts.
New York's lineup is expected to inch closer to a more complete version when Anthony Rizzo returns from the injured list. Rizzo last played Aug. 31 due to a back injury and then landed on the IL because of headaches from an epidural shot.
"Whenever we get those guys back it's going to be a big boost to the lineup," New York starter Jameson Taillon said. "Those are pretty legit, bona fide big leaguers that are definitely going to give us a boost lengthening out the lineup."
Milwaukee is hoping Jason Alexander (2-3, 5.29 ERA) can do enough to contribute to a sweep on Sunday. The right-hander heads into his first encounter as a starter with a 4.64 ERA in 10 career starts and allowing opponents to bat .308 after permitting five runs in 5 1/3 innings in an 8-2 loss to Cincinnati on Sept. 9.
Gerrit Cole (11-7, 3.30) goes for the Yankees after allowing three homers in a no-decision Tuesday in Boston. Despite the home runs, the right-hander has fanned 24 in 12 2/3 innings over his past two outings and is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA in his past four trips to the mound.
Cole is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 13 career starts against the Brewers. He has held Adames to four hits in 21 career at-bats with 14 strikeouts in their encounters.
--Field Level Media