The Raptor roars: Suter’s big night helps Brewers to 3-2 victory

MILWAUKEE — Pitcher Brent Suter hadn’t hit a home run since high school.

Imagine his surprise and delight when he went deep on AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.

This wasn’t just a shot that curled around the foul pole, but a no-doubter to center that went 433 feet.

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Suter also threw 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball after coming in for injured starter Wade Miley to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 win on Tuesday night over the Cleveland Indians.

“It’s a crazy night, but at the same time that’s what I’m there for. I’m there as that long guy in the bullpen to … pick up the team when the starter goes down early,” Suter said.

But homering off one of the best pitchers in the game is not part of his job description.

“I mean, Brent is a strong dude, man,” manager Craig Counsell said.

Suter hit the first pitch thrown by Kluber in the third, a sinker, to center for the first homer of his professional career. It was the first home run given up by Kluber to a pitcher in his eight years with the Indians.

Teammates greeted Suter, who goes by the nickname “Raptor,” with raptor noises when he got to the giddy dugout. They threw confetti.

“I just had one of those awesome baseball moments that you’ll never forget I guess,” Suter said.

Kluber (5-2) had his five-start winning streak snapped after allowing five hits and three runs over six innings. He has given up eight homers over his past four games.

“Hitters are usually swinging against me, and with that approach and guys trying to lift the ball and stuff, if I make a mistake, then they hit it out of the ballpark,” Kluber said. “It’s not really much of an adjustment to make other than just trying not to make those mistakes.”

SOLID SUTER

Suter (2-2) had an eventful night on the mound too. The left-hander entered with one out in the first for Miley, who left following 19 pitches with a strained right oblique.

Suter allowed five hits, including solo homers to Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor, and struck out five in handing Cleveland its fourth straight loss.

He made a diving catch of a bunt attempt in front of the plate by Kluber in the second inning with two men on and one out, then threw out Brandon Guyer at second for an inning-ending double play.

Three more relievers combined to hold the Indians scoreless for the final four innings, with Josh Hader fanning three over the last two innings for his fifth save.

Travis Shaw had a two-run homer in the first inning for Milwaukee.

QUOTABLE

“Sometimes it’s first-pitch swinging like tonight, the other pitcher swung at a first-pitch fastball. He’s trying to get ahead. I’ll take whatever he’s doing.” Indians manager Terry Francona when asked about the home runs given up by Kluber of late.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: OF Bradley Zimmer, who hurt his left shoulder when he crashed into the outfield wall Saturday at Yankee Stadium, is expected to play Wednesday in Milwaukee. … LHP Andrew Miller, on the DL since April 26 (left hamstring strain) threw a mound session Tuesday. “When we get back home on Thursday, he’ll get his strength measured. As long as there’s not much of a deficit, we’ll get him going,” Francona said. … RHP Danny Salazar, sidelined all season (right shoulder impingement tendinitis) and moved from the 10-day to 60-day DL on May 3, will be shut down from 7 to 10 days after receiving an injection in the shoulder. Salazar has been on extended spring training in Arizona.

Brewers: All-Star closer Corey Knebel, sidelined since early April by a left hamstring injury, will be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, Counsell said after the game.

“He passed everything at a pretty good rate and did everything in a timely manner, and really probably a little ahead of schedule,” Counsell said. … Infielder Nick Franklin left the game in the fourth after hurting his right quad while running out a fielder’s choice. He had just joined the club earlier in the day after his contract was selected from Double-A Biloxi.

Counsell said that both Franklin and Miley are likely headed to the disabled list.

UP NEXT

Indians: RH Carlos Carrasco (4-1) is 5-4 with a 3.21 ERA in 16 interleague games, including 12 starts.

Brewers: Opponents are hitting just .202 off RH Junior Guerra (2-2), who will make his first career start against the Indians.