MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mark Reynolds raised his right index finger in the air as his game-ending RBI single bounced safely past the diving third baseman. The bearded slugger was mobbed at first by smiling teammates pulling on his jersey and patting his head.
Reynolds’ hit drove home Rickie Weeks from third with two outs in the ninth, and the Milwaukee Brewers overcame Francisco Rodriguez’s first blown save of the season for a 6-5 win Sunday over the New York Yankees.
Rodriguez had given up a game-tying homer to Mark Teixeira on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth.
No wonder the Brewers looked like a bunch of giddy Little Leaguers.
"It was great, you come back the next half-inning and do that? That’s outstanding," manager Ron Roenicke said.
It was the kind of scrappy victory Roenicke sought with third baseman Aramis Ramirez sidelined by a hamstring injury and outfielder Ryan Braun already on the disabled list with an oblique injury. He also gave another one of his top hitters, Jonathan Lucroy, a day off behind the plate.
Rodriguez (1-0) did pick up the win. The Brewers’ typically stingy bullpen allowed two runs to New York, including Yangervis Solarte’s run-scoring single in the seventh that drew New York within a run.
This time, the Brewers’ bats picked up the relievers.
Weeks doubled just inside the first base line with one out before going to third on a wild pitch by reliever Adam Warren (1-2). Reynolds followed two batters later and delivered the hard chopper past Solarte to end the game.
"I got 0-2, got ahead, one pitch away and didn’t bury the pitch like I should have," Warren said.
The back-and-forth final few innings took another roller-coaster turn in the top of the ninth when Teixeira reached out for a low-and-away changeup from Rodriguez for a homer to right. It was the first run allowed all season by Rodriguez, who blew his first save after 15 straight successful opportunities.
"Sometimes you’ve got to pick them up because he’s been picking us up a lot," Reynolds said.
Reynolds finished 2 for 5, though his game-winner came by an unexpected fashion for someone known as a feast-or-famine slugger and hitting .235.
"Great team win; everybody chipping in," Roenicke said.
The Brewers found a way despite two more injury scares.
Star outfielder Carlos Gomez was hit in the left forearm by a pitch from starter David Phelps in the third, causing him to writhe in pain a few seconds. He stayed in the game, and Roenicke said X-rays were negative. Starter Matt Garza limped off after fielding a comebacker that glanced off his left quad to end the fifth. Garza said he was fine.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first, Milwaukee got three in the sixth to take a 5-3 lead. Weeks, who finished 3 for 5, drove in the final run that inning with a fielder’s choice.
Phelps had a so-so outing in his second start of the season in place of the injured Michael Pineda. He allowed eight hits and walked three in five-plus innings, allowing the leadoff runner to reach base five times.
"They were finding holes. It’s frustrating," Phelps said. "I have to do a better job. They gave me a three-run lead early and I let them claw back in."
But that performance might be good enough, for now, for a Yankees rotation battered by injuries. With Ivan Nova (elbow) already out for the season, the Yankees announced before the game that struggling left-hander CC Sabathia would join Pineda (upper back) on the disabled list with a right knee injury.
Prior to the game, the Brewers gave Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter a gold-plated bat and a $10,000 check for his Turn 2 Foundation, which promotes healthy lifestyles among youth. The gifts were presented by Dick Groch, a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin. Groch was the Yankees scout in 1992 who recommended the team draft Jeter in the first round that year.
Notes: Yankees C John Ryan Murphy groundout to second was overturned to an infield single in the eighth after manager Joe Girardi requested a replay review, which took 53 seconds. . . . Carlos Gomez was hit in the left forearm by a pitch from Phelps in the third, causing him to writhe in pain a few seconds. He stayed in the game. . . . The Yankees come home for the Subway Series against the Mets, sending Huroki Kuroda (2-3) to the hill. The Brewers have Monday off, with Marco Estrada (2-1) scheduled to start Tuesday against the Pirates.