MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rowdy Tellez has spent only a month playing for Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell and already realizes what makes him so effective at running a team.
Tellez singled home Avisaíl García in the 10th inning to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night that enabled Counsell to earn his 500th career victory.
“He works hard, he loves the game, he’s super-intelligent,” Tellez said. “Really, just a baseball savant. He just understands the game. And, he’s a good person. That’s what, I think, it comes down to. He relates to the players and he’s a good person.”
Counsell’s career record improved to 500-456 in seven seasons.
“I see this as a real responsibility,” said Counsell, who grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay. “I feel responsible for baseball in this city. I’m grateful that I’ve gotten that opportunity, grateful I’ve been able to kind of take that ride and be a part of it. More than anything, that’s the part of it that I still love and enjoy is having that responsibility in this city, the city I grew up in, the team I grew up rooting for and got to play for.”
Tellez led off the bottom of the 10th by hitting a 1-2 pitch from Jarlin García (3-3) just inside the third-base line and into left field, giving the Brewers their eighth win in 10 games.
This was the second straight game in which Tellez delivered the big hit for the Brewers. He hit a three-run, pinch-hit homer to put Milwaukee ahead for good in a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
Tellez is hitting .351 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 22 games since Milwaukee acquired him from Toronto in a July 6 trade. He was batting .209 with four homers and eight RBIs in 50 games with Toronto.
Milwaukee’s Brent Suter (11-5) struck out two and retired the side in order in the top of the 10th to strand Alex Dickerson at second base.
Suter savored the opportunity to help Counsell earn a milestone win.
“He’s definitely the best manager I’ve ever played for,” Suter said. “He has such a good pulse for the ballclub. He knows when to push the pedal, when to push the gas. He just has an incredible way of leading people and bringing people together. Some days he does it with words, some days he does it with actions, but he’s a leader through and through.”
The first meeting of the season between these two division leaders was a pitching duel featuring Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes and San Francisco’s Logan Webb. The only runs they allowed came on solo shots by the Brewers’ García and the Giants’ Brandon Belt.
“I thought Webb went toe to toe with Burnes,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Burnes has some nasty stuff, and Webb kind of matched him all the way through the game with his intensity and with his stuff.”
Webb struck out nine and yielded three hits and one walk in six innings while retiring the last 11 men he faced. It was the ninth consecutive start in which Webb gave up no more than two runs.
He got some help in the fourth inning from Mike Yastrzemski, who made a leaping catch while banging his shoulder into the center-field wall to rob Tellez of an extra-base hit.
“I hit it pretty hard,” Yastrzemski said. “I kind of feel like I ran into a wall. But nothing feels wrong. It’s just a little sore.”
Burnes worked seven innings and gave up four hits and one run. He struck out five and walked one.
Avisaíl García opened the scoring in the second inning by sending a 3-2 pitch from Webb over the wall in left center for his 19th homer of the season, one off his career high.
San Francisco’s LaMonte Ward led off the game with a single to right, but the Giants wouldn’t get another hit off Burnes until Belt delivered his 150th career homer — a game-tying drive to right with one out in the sixth inning.
Giants: Pitcher Kevin Gausman’s wife, Taylor, has given birth to a girl named Sutton. Gausman went on the paternity list Thursday.
Brewers: Pitcher Adrian Houser became the latest Brewers player to test positive for the coronavirus, though he hasn’t been added to the COVID-19 injured list yet. Brewers on the list include All-Star closer Josh Hader, starting pitcher Eric Lauer, relievers Jake Cousins, Jandel Gustave and Hunter Strickland, first baseman Keston Hiura and outfielder Christian Yelich. Although Yelich hasn’t been activated yet, he’s eligible to come off the list and says he’s feeling fine.
Brandon Woodruff (7-6, 2.26 ERA) pitches for the Brewers and Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 2.97) starts for the Giants on Saturday.