|Potent lineup finally brewing for Brewers against Marlins|
MILWAUKEE -- Craig Counsell wouldn't admit it, but he was pretty excited to write both Lorenzo Cain's and Christian Yelich's names atop his lineup card Thursday night.
And with good reason, too as Milwaukee's offense, powered by Cain and Yelich, snapped out of an early-season funk Thursday night with a 12-run outburst against Yelich's former team, the Miami Marlins.
Yelich, who returned earlier this week, went 1-for-4. Cain doubled twice and homered and Ryan Braun, out a day earlier with a sore calf, hit a pinch-hit home run as Milwaukee's offense functioned just as the front office had in mind when it assembled the roster over the winter.
"We're definitely going in the right direction," Counsell said.
They'll try to do it again Friday night when Jhoulys Chacin takes the mound for his fifth start of the season as Milwaukee and Miami continue their four-game weekend set at Miller Park.
Chacin hasn't been overly impressive through the first four starts of his Brewers career.
He held the Mets to just a run his last time out -- marking a season-low for runs allowed -- but only worked four innings and gave up five hits with three walks during that stretch, striking out four.
Chacin didn't face the Marlins last season but is 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA in seven career appearances against Miami, including five starts.
Right-hander Trevor Richards (0-1, 4.70) gets the ball for the Marlins, who found a silver lining in their tough loss by way of Lewis Brinson's breakout game.
The rookie center fielder hit his first two home runs as a Marlin, marking the first multi-home run of his big league career -- against the same team that gave him his first taste of big league action.
"My approach was good tonight," Brinson said. "I came back to a place I played last year and had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. I wish we could have gotten the win but it feels good. I was in a good place tonight and hopefully I can keep it going."
A first-round pick of the Rangers in 2012, he was dealt to Milwaukee at the deadline in 2016, part of a four-player deal that sent Jonathan Lucroy to Texas.
He appeared in 21 games for Milwaukee last season, batting just .106 but was considered the team's top prospect until he was shipped to Miami in a deal for Yelich in January.
Playing for his hometown team, Brinson had an eye-opening camp, batting .328 in Cactus League play, but was batting .131 with 20 strikeouts before Mattingly rested him for the Marlins' two-game interleague series at New York.
He wasted little time showing his former team what it was missing, homering in each of his first two at-bats and credited an adjustment to his timing as a leading reason for the sudden success.
"He's been working a lot," Mattingly said. "His work has been good, his BP has been getting better. He still has a ways to go but we'll take what he had tonight. He's seeing some progress with staying on the ball longer. He was good tonight and hopefully this is the start of something bigger for him."