ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brandon Woodruff hit 10 over five innings on his return from the injured list, Andrew McCutchen and Luis Urías hit a homer during a four-run sixth run, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Tuesday Night.
Woodruff, who injured his right ankle in St. Louis on May 27, allowed a run and two hits. While on the 15-day injured list, Raynaud’s syndrome affected his pitching fingers.
“He served beautifully,” said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell. “The fastball was very, very good. Overwhelming for most of the game. It was fun to watch, it really was.”
The right-hander’s average four-seam fastball was 97.7 mph, which tied for his fastest on any outing with a July 21, 2019 start in Arizona.
Woodruff had no problems with his fingers.
“That’s a good, positive sign,” Woodruff said. “I’ll just keep watching it, but for now, if things go like they are for the rest of the year, I’m happy with that.”
Woodruff (6-3) was perfect in three innings with seven strikeouts. He made his major league debut on August 4, 2017 at Tropicana Field against the Rays, winning 6 1/3 innings in a 2-0 win.
Matt Wisler (2-2) replaced Tampa Bay starter Shane Baz with one on and two outs in sixth place, and it took eight pitches for the Brewers to convert a one-run deficit into a 4-1 lead. McCutchen connected for a two-run shot after Wisler’s second offer, and after Kolten doubled Wong, Urías hit another two-run drive.
“Wis has been so good for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “It came together really quickly. They handled the breaking ball, got it airborne and hit some big home runs.”
Wisler came on a stretch of 11 goalless games in 12 games.
Urías added a double in the eighth RBI.
Josh Hader beat the team in the ninth for his 23rd save in 24 chances.
Baz gave up one run, three hits and two walks along with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Jason Alexander started eighth, walking with his first two batters: Brett Phillips, who is in a 4-on-51 slide, and Yandy Díaz. After a pass ball, Wander Franco had a victim fly and Harold Ramírez hit a run-scoring grounder to put the Rays 5-3.
Devin Williams replaced Alexander, who was hit in the leg by Randy Arozarena’s base hit with two outs. After managing Isaac Paredes, Williams got a fielder pick from Josh Lowe.
Alexander was fine after the game.
Díaz doubled on a nine-pitch-at-bat leading the fourth, making it 1-0 on Arozarena’s two-out single.
Tampa Bay extended its team record to 13 consecutive games decided by two runs or fewer. It’s the longest streak in the majors since the New York Yankees had 16 straight from July 20 to August 5, 2014.
Woodruff came off the mound on the third base side to place Arozarena’s hopper on second and first baseman Rowdy Tellez, who scooped the pitcher’s throw out of the dirt to complete the out.
After the second inning, there was a video tribute for Brewers infielders Willy Adames and Mike Brosseau returning to Tropicana Field. The pair were part of the Rays’ 2020 AL pennant-winning team.
Adames received a warm ovation before his first inning at bat, tipping his batting helmet toward the stands.
Brewers: Wong (right calf) returned after missing 15 games. … Left-hander Aaron Ashby (left forearm) could be back later this week. … Right fielder Jace Peterson stayed in the game after slipping awkwardly on a bullpen mound and trying to catch Paredes’ foul ball in the seventh inning.
Rays: First baseman Ji-Man Choi (left ankle) didn’t play.
Milwaukee left winger Eric Lauer (6-3) starts Wednesday’s finals of the two-game series. He has conceded eight home runs in his last three starts. The Rays will have a bullpen tag with left-hander Jalen Beeks (1-1) as the opener.