Hiura’s HR in the 11th sends the Brewers past the Braves

How about that for your first day back?

Keston Hiura hit a walkoff two-run homer off Jesse Chavez in the 11th inning as the Milwaukee Brewers came from behind to defeat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 Wednesday afternoon.

The Brewers were down 4-0 through three innings after starting pitcher Corbin Burnes gave up a three-run homer to Austin Riley and a solo shot to cleanup hitter Marcell Ozuna. The Crew chipped the lead to 4-2 in the 4th with RBI singles by center fielder Tyrone Taylor and designated hitter Rowdy Tellez. Third baseman Mike Brosseau tripled to right in the 8th to cut the deficit to 4-3.

In the 9th, Braves closer Kenley Jansen came on to shut the door. Jansen coming into the appearance was a perfect 9-9 in save opportunities. Jansen surrendered a walk to new third baseman Jace Peterson who came on in a double switch for Brosseau and got first baseman Keston Hiura to fly out and catcher Victor Caratini to ground out which set up this moment for second baseman Kolten Wong. Wong in seven plate appearances against Jansen, held only a .143 batting average but this time, his fortunes against Jansen would change.

What a moment. On the eve of playing in his 1,000 games three nights ago, Wong has been a model of consistency since signing with the Crew as a free agent in 2021, and moments like this are why the Brewers picked up Wong because he’s not a power hitter but can hit for contact.

Keston Hiura meanwhile, has had an up and down Major League career. After hitting .303 in 2019, Hiura has not been able to replicate that success as he’s struggled with strikeouts and trying to work out the mechanics of his swing.

Take a look at this video from 2019:

Coming into the league, Hiura had a high leg kick and that helped generate some of his power but once he struggled the question was how was he going to change his approach.

Take a look at his approach from 2022 spring training:

The leg kick is still there, but it’s a shorter leg kick, and he’s starting to shoot the ball again like he did in 2019.

Hiura’s biggest weakness was the high fastball and he’s done a better job this year of laying off those pitches granted he was called up yesterday after an injury to Willy Adames but this is a good start for Hiura to stay on the Brewers roster.

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