Hader earns win in first road outing since tweets public
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sure, Josh Hader heard the boos. Of course, he knew they were coming.
The All-Star reliever retired four batters to earn a win while making his first appearance on the road since the lefty’s years-old racist and homophobic tweets surfaced during the All-Star Game, helping lead the Milwaukee Brewers past the San Francisco Giants 7-5 on Thursday night.
Hit with rather subdued boos as he ran in from the bullpen to pitch with two outs in the sixth, Hader (3-0) immediately got Brandon Crawford to ground out.
“Like I said before, I can’t control what they’re going to say to me. I’ve made mistakes in my earlier years,” Hader said. “I’ve just got to go out and focus on what I’ve got to do and that’s to get outs and help this team win. I can’t let my mistakes distract me from my job going now. Obviously I don’t like what I said back then and I obviously regret what came out, but we live and we learn as human beings. We’re not perfect. It’s how you learn from what you do and just become a better person from it.”
Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Ryan Braun contributed a key RBI single as Milwaukee rallied in the eighth.
Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI double in the ninth for San Francisco after Chase d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly.
The Brewers want Hader to work on getting past the mistakes he made as a teenager that last week became public knowledge.
“The approach that we’ve tried to take with Josh is let’s move forward. From our perspective it’s important that we love him and we support him and make his days as normal as possible,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s hurting. I don’t think that’s going to go away today.”
Christian Yelich hit a tying homer leading off the sixth then singled to start a rally in the eighth against Mark Melancon (0-1). Shaw singled one out later and also scored as Erik Kratz followed Braun with a base hit.
The Giants got one back in the eighth then Corey Knebel relieved Jeremy Jeffress and struck out Hunter Pence with the tying run on third and finished for his 13th save. Jesus Aguilar added an insurance single in the ninth before Shaw connected.
“We had some chances at the end against some tough pitchers,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Yelich hit his 14th homer against Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez to make it 2-all and has a 10-game hitting streak.
Rookie Rodriguez struck out five over six innings with two walks and five hits allowed but missed winning a third straight start.
Giants third baseman Evan Longoria returned from the disabled list and went 2 for 4 while Steven Duggar had an RBI single on a night first-pitch temperature was a chilly 59 degrees with a breeze.
Longoria had been sidelined since breaking his left hand and having surgery after being hit by a pitch at Miami on June 14.