MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rowdy Tellez continued to torment the Boston Red Sox, homering for the second straight game and helping the Milwaukee Brewers win 5-4 on Saturday night.
Tellez hit a two-run shot off Garrett Whitlock in the third inning. He also homered Friday in the Brewers’ 5-3 loss to the Red Sox.
Tellez, who faced Boston more frequently while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2018-21, has 14 homers and 29 RBIs in 37 career games against the Red Sox. He hasn’t hit more than eight homers against any other team.
He entered Saturday with a 1.183 career OPS against the Red Sox.
Yu Chang and Rafael Devers hit two-run homers for the Red Sox. Devers’ blast was his AL-leading eighth of the season.
The Red Sox brought the tying run to scoring position in each of the last two innings, but couldn’t break through.
Justin Turner hit a one-out double off Peter Strzelecki in the eighth, but Hoby Milner struck out Jarren Duran and Devers to end the threat. Masataka Yoshida reached on a one-out single in the ninth and advanced to second on Raimel Tapia’s grounder to the left side, but Devin Williams retired Reese McGuire on a fly to shallow left and earned his third save in as many opportunities.
The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the second when William Contreras and Brian Anderson hit consecutive doubles. Milwaukee extended the lead to 3-0 in the third when Tellez hit a 412-foot blast over the center-field wall on a 3-2 changeup.
Boston cut Milwaukee’s lead to 3-2 on Chang’s drive to left with two outs in the fifth.
The Red Sox threatened to do more damage in the fifth, but Brewers center fielder Joey Wiemer made a leaping catch at the warning track to rob Alex Verdugo of an extra-base hit.
The Brewers got the lead back to three in the bottom of the fifth, though they squandered an opportunity to break the game open.
Blake Perkins started the rally with his first major-league hit and scored on Christian Yelich’s double. The Brewers then loaded the bases with nobody out against Whitlock.
Richard Bleier came out of the bullpen and got out of the jam as Tellez hit into a double play and Contreras grounded out. Yelich scored on the double play to make the score 5-2.
Devers made it a one-run game again by homering off Joel Payamps in the sixth.
Milwaukee’s Wade Miley (3-1) struck out three and allowed four hits, two runs and one walk in five innings to lower his ERA to 1.96.
Whitlock (1-2) struck out one and gave up eight hits, five runs and one walk in four innings.
Milwaukee RHP Adrian Houser is expected to throw 75-80 pitches Sunday with Triple-A Nashville and could end up starting when he returns from a right groin injury that has kept him from making his 2023 debut.
Houser started 76 games from 2019-22, but had been expected to open this season in the bullpen. That plan might change now that Brandon Woodruff is out indefinitely with an injured right shoulder.
“With Woody’s injury, we decided that stretching Adrian out is the best thing to do,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said before the game.
Milwaukee RHP Bryse Wilson started in 20 of his 25 appearances with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, but the Brewers intend to keep him in the bullpen, where he has thrived so far. Wilson is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and two saves in six relief appearances.
RHP Brayan Bello (0-1, 16.88) starts for the Red Sox and RHP Corbin Burnes (2-1, 4.76) pitches for the Brewers in the rubber game of this series Sunday.
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