MILWAUKEE — For as much as Brewers infielder Brice Turang has struggled offensively lately, his teammates’ confidence in him has not wavered.
“He’s a dude,” Joey Wiemer said of Turang. “I’ve played with him a lot, and he’s going to be just fine.”
Turang came up big late Tuesday night against the Orioles — as did Wiemer, whose single in the 10th inning gave the Brewers a 4-3 walk-off win at American Family Field.
Turang entered the series opener in a deep rut offensively, with just one hit in his previous 14 games and none in nine days. He struck out in his first plate appearance, stranding the bases loaded in the first inning, to fall to 0-for-his-last-21, and 1-for-his-last-41.
“I don’t care who you are, when you go through a stretch like him” manager Craig Counsell said. “You can be Christian Yelich and go through a stretch like that, and you’re going to question yourself a little bit. That’s part of it.
“The game doesn’t stop for anybody, and [Turang] responded today.”
Indeed. Turang went 2-for-5 with a walk, triple and game-tying single that helped set up Wiemer’s walk-off heroics.
After Blake Perkins walked and stole second in the eighth inning, Turang drove him in with an RBI single off Orioles reliever Yennier Canó, tying things at 3. It gave him his first multi-hit game since May 20.
“My confidence was there,” Turang said of his recent stretch. “Balls weren’t falling, and I continued to try to have the best at-bats I can. It always feels good to help the team win, and that’s the biggest thing I always talk about, is how to help the team win.
Cano has been one of the top relievers in baseball this season — entering Tuesday with a 0.87 ERA in 25 appearances. Turang kept a simple approach in that spot: Have a good at-bat.
“I’m just trying to compete,” he said. “That’s about it. I don’t really think much about, like, trying to get a hit or trying to find holes. I just go out there and try to compete and whatever happens, happens.
“That’s all I can really do.”
Wiemer, meanwhile, has gone through his ups and downs as a rookie this season, but the 24-year-old looked unflappable in the biggest spots against Baltimore.
It looked like the Orioles, with two runners on and two outs, were going to take the lead in the third. Aaron Hicks drove a deep line drive into the right-center-field gap, but Wiemer hauled it in with an outstretched snag at the warning track.
“That’s taking two runs off the board,” Counsell said of the grab, which had a 40 percent catch probability, according to Statcast.
“Crazy,” said Freddy Peralta, who threw five innings of two-run ball while striking out nine (one shy of his season-high). “He saved the game, and then he was the one that got the job done to win the game.”
Wiemer was 0-for-4 when he came to the plate in the 10th inning, with runners on first and second and two outs. Austin Voth threw him three straight curveballs to begin the at-bat, and Wiemer fell behind, 1-2, when he took a big hack and fouled off the third.
Voth came back with a curve in the same spot, and Wiemer smacked it down the left-field line, bringing the Brewers out of their dugout in a frenzy.
“Joey, he’s a competitor, man,” Counsell said. “It’s a really clean way he competes. He doesn’t get distracted by much. The play he made in the third inning was incredible — one of the best catches I’ve seen. That was a double off the bat. I don’t think any of us thought anybody had a chance to catch that.
“He’s impacting the team, he’s playing well and he’s been swinging the bat pretty well.”
The kids were all right in Milwaukee on Tuesday, but one question demanded an answer. If Turang is a “dude,” what word would he use to describe Wiemer?
“It’s the same; he’s a dog,” Turang said. “Like he wants it. He wants to go get it. That’s what you want in a teammate. You want to have that guy who has that dog in him, no matter what’s going on.
“They go out there and compete, and they try to win. He’s got it.”