PHOENIX — Milwaukee’s final day in the desert was not going well. The Brewers trailed by four runs after three innings, All-Star right-hander Brandon Woodruff went down with an injury and there was little reason to expect another comeback.
One long-time-coming swing by Tyler Saladino changed the momentum, sending Milwaukee home with a second straight series win.
Saladino had his first career grand slam and the Brewers beat up on Arizona’s bullpen for the second straight game to rally for a 7-4 win Sunday.
“To come through right there in the way that it happened was huge, got us fired up,” Saladino said.
Woodruff entered Sunday's game 11-3 with a 3.53 ERA and had allowed three earned runs in 20⅓ innings over his three previous starts before arriving in the desert, but the Diamondbacks hit him hard from the start.
Christian Walker had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, Alex Avila hit a two-run homer high off the centerfield wall and Eduardo Escobar put Arizona up 4-0 in the third with a run-scoring single.
Woodruff left the game after grimacing on his second pitch to Tim Locastro to open the fourth inning.
After a brief discussion, Woodruff slowly walked to the dugout. Counsell said after the game Woodruff would have an MRI on Monday and will go to the 10-day injured list.
The hard-throwing right-hander allowed four runs on six hits. He was replaced Junior Guerra with the game tied 4-all.
Milwaukee struggled against Arizona starter Alex Young early before putting together what appeared to be an innocuous two-out rally.
Saladino, hitting .102 entering Sunday’s game, changed the dynamic with his first homer since Sept. 1, tying the game at 4.
Mike Moustakas hit a go-ahead three-run homer in Saturday night’s 8-3 win and put the Brewers ahead late again, chopping a single through the middle after Keston Hiura led off the eighth inning with a triple against Yoan Lopez (1-4).
Pinch hitter Yasmani Grandal followed with a run-scoring double and Ben Gamel added an RBI single to put Milwaukee up 7-4.
The Brewers’ bullpen picked up the slack for a second straight game, holding Arizona scoreless over the final six innings.
Freddy Peralta (4-3) walked one in the seventh inning and Josh Hader worked around a single in the ninth for his 22nd save. The Brewers have won five of six after winning consecutive series for the first time since early May.
“Dynamite work all series by the bullpen,” Counsell said. “That’s where the wins came from this series.”
Avila hit his 100th career homer, a two-run shot in the second inning to put the Diamondbacks up 4-0.
Young got into trouble in the fourth inning, leading to Saladino’s slam, and Arizona’s bullpen struggled for the second straight game. Diamondbacks’ relievers allowed 16 runs in the series.
“It is a lot of runs and it is more than we are used to giving up,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “They’re better than that.”
Young had been dominant since being called up in June — 3-0, 0.96 ERA — and looked that way again through three innings against Milwaukee. The rookie left-hander ran into trouble in the fourth when the Brewers loaded the bases with two outs and Saladino tied the game.
“They just stopped swinging at off-speed pitches and I was falling behind in counts,” Young said. “The pitch to Saladino was left right over the plate.”
From the infirmary
Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson pitched an inning for Class A Wisconsin on Sunday in his first rehab assignment while recovering from an elbow injury. ... Left fielder Ryan Braun was out of the lineup with a stiff back, but he did fly out as a pinch hitter in the ninth. Braun will miss Monday’s game against the Reds to attend the funeral of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in a Texas hotel room on July 1.
On Monday against Cincinnati, the Brewers will start right-hander Chase Anderson (5-2, 3.96 ERA), who is 4-2 with a 3.88 ERA since moving from the bullpen to the rotation.