MILWAUKEE — When he grew up dreaming about his first day in the major leagues, Sal Frelick never bothered imagining a scenario quite as remarkable as the debut he produced Saturday night.

“I think this blew it out of the water,” Frelick said after going 3-for-3, driving in the go-ahead run and making two outstanding catches in the Milwaukee Brewers4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

The 2021 first-round draft pick from Boston College is the sixth player over the past 25 seasons to have three hits and the winning RBI in his MLB debut, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Frelick also became the first Brewers player with multiple hits and the winning RBI in his debut since Sixto Lezcano in 1974.

“He showed us everything tonight,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He did the things that he’s good at and the reason that he’s here and the reason why he was a first-round pick. He put it all on display tonight.”

Atlanta’s Austin Riley homered for the fifth straight game in a losing cause to tie a Braves franchise record. Riley’s three-run shot off Adrian Houser in the third gave the Braves a 3-0 lead.

Frelick made sure the Brewers came back.

Devin Williams then preserved Milwaukee’s lead by working out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn his 25th save in 27 opportunities.

After learning he had been promoted from Triple-A Nashville on Friday night, Frelick caught a Saturday morning flight to Chicago and drove about 80 miles to Milwaukee to arrive in plenty of time for the game.

His father, brother, sister and a few friends also made it for the game, though most of them also had to fly into Chicago before driving into Wisconsin.

“Mom’s at home with the dog,” Frelick said. “She’ll be here tomorrow.”

Frelick hit an infield single in his first career plate appearance and followed that up with a single down the right-field line to begin a two-run rally in the fifth. He singled home Jesse Winker in the sixth to tie the score and knocked in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

He also produced two noteworthy plays in the sixth to prevent extra-base hits when the Brewers trailed 3-2.

Frelick made a leaping catch of Marcell Ozuna‘s shot near the top of the right-field wall and then raced into the right-center field gap, jumped and banged against the wall to snare a drive from Orlando Arcia.

“Thanks, Sal,” Houser said after the game. “I’ll get you a steak or something here soon.”

Milwaukee’s rally began when Willy Adames led off the eighth with a double down the left-field line against Joe Jiménez (0-3). One out later, Adames took off for third when Andruw Monasterio hit a grounder to shortstop Arcia.

Arcia tried to retire the lead runner rather than getting the easy out at first, but Adames reached third safely when Riley couldn’t handle the throw. Riley was charged with an error.

Frelick followed with a sinking liner to right. Arcia slid across the plate with the go-ahead run as Ronald Acuña Jr.‘s throw got away from catcher Sean Murphy.

Frelick batted .331 with a .403 on-base percentage in 119 games last season for High-A Wisconsin, Double-A Biloxi and Nashville.

The Brewers selected Frelick out of Boston College with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *