MILWAUKEE (AP)The Milwaukee Brewers’ dramatic late-inning comeback could only keep their playoff hopes alive for another nine minutes.
Hunter Renfroe homered in a ninth-inning rally and singled home the winning run in the 10th, but the Brewers were eliminated from postseason contention on Monday night despite a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Brewers knew at the start of the night they could earn the NL’s final wild-card spot only if they won their last three games while Philadelphia lost three straight. Milwaukee’s chances ended soon after their walk-off when the Phillies (87-73) beat the Houston Astros 3-0 to clinch their first playoff appearance since 2011.
”We did our part and battled to the end here and found a way to win a game,” said Christian Yelich, who also homered for the Brewers. ”But obviously, it’s bittersweet when it ends up not meaning much because Philly took care of business.”
Miwaukee missed the playoffs for the first time since 2017. The Brewers led the NL Central for much of the season and had a four-game advantage on the morning of July 31 but have gone just 28-31 since.
”We don’t really have anyone else to blame but ourselves,” Yelich said. ”We just didn’t get the job done.”
The Brewers really hurt their cause over the weekend by losing three of four at home against Miami, with the three losses decided by a total of four runs.
”We stayed in the fight, and I think tonight was an example of that,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”This past weekend against Miami, it just felt like we couldn’t for some reason, they wouldn’t let us over the hump. Frankly, it’s felt like that for awhile. That one step forward, one step back, that kind of feeling that we had, it felt like that this weekend. We just seemed so close to taking that next step forward. Like this weekend showed, we just couldn’t do it.”
Sergio Alcantara had a homer and three RBIs for Arizona, and Cooper Hummel also homered.
Milwaukee (85-75) trailed 4-1 in the ninth before tying the game with help from a two-out Arizona error.
Renfroe led off the ninth with a homer off Joe Mantiply, and Yelich followed with a single. After Andrew McCutchen lined to center, Kolten Wong walked.
The runners advanced when Mantiply retired Rowdy Tellez on a bouncer to first. Victor Caratini hit a hard grounder that got past first baseman Christian Walker, with both Yelich and Wong coming home on the error.
”Obviously Walker is one of the best first basemen in baseball defensively,” Hummel said. ”It just didn’t go our way. They took advantage.”
Reyes Moronta replaced Mantiply and retired Jace Peterson on a grounder to second.
Daulton Varsho’s one-out single off Brad Boxberger (4-3) brought home Hummel to help Arizona regain the lead in the 10th.
Milwaukee responded in the bottom half. After Omar Narvaez drew a leadoff walk from Moronta (2-2), Willy Adames lined a single to right that scored Peterson from second and advanced Narvaez to third. Renfroe then lined a single to left to end the game.
”We mounted a real nice comeback tonight,” Counsell said. ”A little bit improbable, really.”
Arizona wasted an exceptional outing from Tommy Henry, who struck out five and allowed one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
”The slider was a little bit better tonight than it has been through most of the year,” Henry said. ”That always helps.”
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff allowed two runs and one walk while striking out seven in six innings. He has given up just seven runs over 39 innings in his last six starts.
Brewers RHP Justin Topa went on the injured list with a bruised left ankle. The Brewers recalled RHP Jake Cousins from Triple-A Nashville.
RHP Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46 ERA) pitches for Arizona and LHP Eric Lauer (10-7, 3.83) starts for Milwaukee as this series continues Tuesday night.
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