MILWAUKEE — Behind Milwaukee outfielder Tyrone Taylor's two RBIs and a pivotal slide at home plate, the Brewers dropped the Marlins 4-2 Thursday afternoon to clinch a series win over Miami.
The victory lowered Milwaukee's magic number to clinch the NL Central to 12 games (a combination of Brewers wins and Cubs losses). The magic number for a postseason berth is now 10 (a combination of Brewers wins and Diamondbacks losses).
Thursday's momentum-changing play came in the bottom of the fifth with Sal Frelick's line drive to right field. Taylor, who was on second base, rounded third for a race to home plate.
The outfielder slid on the inside of home plate while Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings tried to tag him out. Taylor was initially ruled out by the home-plate umpire, but a replay overturn gave the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
"It's very rare that the runner has to go to the inside of the plate like that," Brewers manager Craig Counsell explained. "Just a great adjustment by Tyrone and a good send by Jason [Lane] as well to be aggressive with two outs."
Taylor echoed the rarity in Thursday's slide.
"It was awkward for me," the outfielder recalled. "Usually I'm doing the outside because the catcher is in the inside of the plate, so that was different for me there. That might have been the first time I had to do that, but glad it worked out."
Pitcher Adrian Houser returned to the mound for Milwaukee after being reinstated Thursday from the 15-day injured list (right elbow effusion).
"I felt good enough I probably could have gone out for the sixth, but probably a smart move staying at the five for now," Houser said. "Overall felt pretty good."
Houser pitched five innings to earn the win (5 hits, 2 runs, 2 errors, 5 strikeouts).
Manager Craig Counsell shared he anticipates Christian Yelich will return to the lineup this Friday after missing the last week with back soreness.
The Brewers open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT before taking its final road trip of the season.