Berti homers twice in 6-1 win as Marlins prevent Brewers from clinching NL Central

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Freddy Peralta, right, talks with shortstop Willy Adames...
Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Freddy Peralta, right, talks with shortstop Willy Adames (27) and catcher William Contreras, center, as the bases are loaded during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(Lynne Sladky | AP)
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 11:18 PM CDT
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(AP) - MIAMI (AP) — Jon Berti had his second career multihomer game, and the Miami Marlins beat Milwaukee 6-1 on Sunday, the second straight day they prevented the Brewers from clinching the NL Central.

Josh Bell also went deep, Jorge Soler had three hits and Jazz Chisholm Jr. doubled twice for the Marlins, who remained one game behind the Chicago Cubs for the third NL wild card spot. Milwaukee’s division lead over the second-place Cubs was cut to six games.

“This is what you play for — meaningful games in September down the stretch,” Berti said. “We just have a really tight-knit group of guys here. It just makes that much more fun and we’re going to keep doing it.”

Marlins starter Edward Cabrera (7-7) allowed one run and five hits in five-plus innings with five strikeouts.

“What really helped me today is keeping everything under control,” Cabrera said through a translator. “It’s not letting the speed of the game control me. I am feeling more confident now.”

Xavier Edwards stepped in for injured Miami infielder Luis Arraez and had three hits and two stolen bases. Arraez, the major league batting leader at .353, didn’t play after he aggravated a sprained left ankle Saturday. Arraez rolled his ankle during pre-game infield drills Tuesday then slipped on the dugout steps before the ninth inning Saturday.

“We’ve talked about next man up for the majority of the year,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker. “We’ve had a lot of injuries. Every team has a lot of injuries. It tests your depth and tests our staff’s belief in guys and just letting them know that we believe in them. I think there’s leadership in that clubhouse that helps that a lot. We don’t get to where we get to without that part of our clubhouse.”

Berti homered in the second on a slider from Freddy Peralta (12-10), who gave up four runs and nine hits in three innings. Bell’s solo homer and Bryan De La Cruz’s two-run single boosted the lead to 4-0 in the third.

Milwaukee closed on Tyrone Taylor’s RBI single in the fifth before Berti completed a 13-pitch at-bat with a two-run homer off Julio Teheran in the bottom half, Berti’s sixth home run this season. Berti’s only other multihomer game was on May 4 last year against Arizona.

“He kept throwing strikes and I kept fouling them off,” Berti said. “At some point he was going to throw a ball eventually but he just kept attacking. Fortunately, I got a good one there at the end.”

After winning four of the first five against Miami this season, including a 16-1 rout in the series opener Friday, the Brewers will attempt to clinch the division at home Tuesday.

“They’re playing for a lot as well and they came out and played two good games,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “There’s no reason to be disappointed right now. We put ourselves in a great position.”

Miami went 46-35 at home, up from 34-47 last year, and finish the regular season with three-game series at the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.

ATTENDANCE UPTICK

Miami drew 17,538 Sunday and finished with home attendance of 1,162,819, an increase of 255,332 from last year but still the NL low. Miami topped 1 million for the first time since drawing 1,583,014 in 2017.

MILESTONE FOR SCOTT

Marlins closer Tanner Scott struck out the side in a perfect ninth, giving him 101 strikeouts. He is the first left-handed Miami reliever to reach triple digits.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: RHP Elvis Peguero (right elbow infusion) threw before the game and is expected to progress to a bullpen session in the next two days.

Marlins: OF Avisaíl García (left hamstring strain) continues with baseball activities and running progression. He will begin base running drills the next few days.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Adrian Houser (7-4, 4.35) will start the opener of a three-game home series against St. Louis on Tuesday. The Cardinals will go with LHP Zack Thompson (5-7, 4.57).

Marlins: LHP Braxton Garrett (9-6, 3.53) starts Tuesday’s series opener at the Mets, who go with LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-0, 2.88).