Milwaukee Brewers NL Central Magic Number After Series Opening Win Over the Nationals

Back-to-back homers in the 5th inning put the Crew on top for good in the 5-3 victory.
William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers
William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers / Kayla Wolf/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers started their Friday night contest against the Nationals by falling into an early 3-0 hole. Catcher William Contreras and first baseman Carlos Santana made sure it wouldn't stay that way.

Contreras demolished a three-run homer to left field while Santana knocked two solo bombs out to right. That was all the offense the Brewers would need as the eventually finished with a 5-3 victory to open the home series against Washington.

Milwaukee starter Wade Miley gave up all three Nationals runs in a rocky first inning but settled down the rest of the way. He ended up falling out run short of a quality start, going 5.2 innings and giving up the three runs on five hits and two walks with three punchouts. His season ERA now sits at 3.38.

In the fifth inning, the Brewers made their comeback. With two runners on, Contreras absolutely destroyed a ball out to left field to tie the game at three apiece. The moonshot traveled 456 feet for the longest homer by a Milwaukee player so far this season.

One batter later, Santana went yard himself to put the Brewers on top. He would add his other matching solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to give the Crew a little insurance and provide the final 5-3 tally. The homer allowed Santana to reach one of two big milestones he is chasing this season, giving him 1,000 RBIs for his career.

What is the Milwaukee Brewers magic number?

The NL Central title keeps getting closer and closer as the magic number for the Brewers to win it is now down to 10. And once again, the number reduced by two games last night when the Cubs lost the first game of their series in the desert against the Diamondbacks.

Chicago was theoretically set up for success with impressive starter Justin Steele making the start for the Cubbies. It didn't seem to bother Arizona, however, as they hung six earned runs on him over his six innings of work.

The Cubs did attempt to mount a comeback late and got close to succeeding. They put up four runs on three homers in the top of the ninth as they tried to claw their way back. A line out and pop out ended their rally, though, and the Diamondbacks pulled away for the 6-4 win.

The Brewers loss and Cubs win increased Milwaukee's NL Central lead to a season high 5.5 games. It also reduced Chicago's lead for the top Wild Card spot to 1.5 games.

The Brewers will look to drop their magic number to win the NL Central into single digits on Saturday night in game two of their series against the Nationals. Corbin Burnes starts for the Crew with first pitch scheduled for 6:10pm.