Brewers hit 5 grand slams in 8-game span, reversing earlier struggles with bases loaded


MILWAUKEE (AP) — It was just over a week ago when the Milwaukee Brewers always seemed to struggle with the bases loaded.

That may be a surprise to the NL Central leaders’ recent opponents.

The Brewers have hit five grand slams over their last eight games, the most recent on Sunday by Brice Turang, who capped a seven-run, fourth-inning outburst in a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

“We made a huge adjustment with the bases loaded,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy quipped after the game. “It’s a secret plan — how to hit home runs with the base loaded. It’s been working. We bought it. It was a recipe online, and we got it.”

The only previous team in major league history to hit five grand slams in an eight-game stretch was the 2020 San Diego Padres, an achievement that earned them the “Slam Diego Padres” nickname.

Milwaukee has an MLB-leading six grand slams this season. The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles entered Sunday with five each.

Turang’s slam gave the Brewers five homers in their past seven plate appearances with the bases loaded. Turang came up with three men on again in the eighth and struck out.

It’s a stunning turnaround for a team that hit just .164 with one homer in its first 64 plate appearances with the bases loaded.

After joking initially about Milwaukee’s reversal of fortune, Murphy noted that the Brewers are doing a better job of waiting for the right pitches in those situations.

“Most homers are thrown,” Murphy said. “I think if you look at all those grand slams that we’ve hit, I think you see where the pitches are, and you’ve got to be ready when you get that opportunity. Sometimes you don’t get the opportunity because you swing at a different pitch to get yourself out. If you get that pitch, you’ve got an opportunity to do something special.”

Turang started the flurry in the ninth inning of a 6-4 loss at San Diego on June 22. Rhys Hoskins’ grand slam in the sixth inning put the Brewers ahead for good in a 6-3 triumph over the Texas Rangers on Monday. Jake Bauers hit a grand slam two days later in a 6-5, 10-inning win over the Rangers. Rookie Jackson Chourio hit his first career slam Friday to give Milwaukee a 4-2 victory over the Cubs.

It was Turang’s turn again Sunday. He has three grand slams out of 12 career homers. Turang credited his teammates for getting on base in front of him.

“You’ve got to get the bases loaded first before you can hit a grand slam,” Turang said. “Guys are on base and we’re having quality at-bats. We’re trying to hit the ball hard, and we caught a couple and hit some grand slams. It’s fun, man.”

The Brewers are doing a better job of putting men on base than in recent seasons.

Milwaukee exited Sunday’s game ranked fifth in the majors in batting average (.255) and fourth in on-base percentage (.332). Last year, the Brewers won the NL Central despite ranking 23rd in batting (.240) and 17th in OBP (.319).

The Brewers are scoring 4.8 runs per game, up from 4.5 last season.

“I think that our offense is pretty dynamic,” said Christian Yelich, who hit a two-run homer on Sunday. “We have a lot of athleticism throughout — speed, guys who are really fast, guys who can hit for power, guys that have a really good hit tool. We just keep grinding throughout the game, putting pressure on the other team. It can happen at any point in the game. It happens quick. It takes a few pitches and then there’s a crooked number on the board.”