Rogers stays hot, swats go-ahead slam

First Brewers pinch-hit slam since '95 helps club split set

Rogers stays hot, swats go-ahead slam

ST. LOUIS -- Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress was on the hook for a tough loss Sunday after surrendering his first home runs in nearly four months, but that changed with one Jason Rogers swing. Rogers' pinch-hit, go-ahead grand slam highlighted a seven-run ninth inning in the Brewers' 8-4 win over the Cardinals, and the question afterward was whether Jeffress felt compelled to give Rogers a hug.

"Nah," Jeffress said with a smile. "Too big."

Rogers is a big man with a bat and no obvious position, but the bat is making club officials take notice. By connecting against Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal for the Brewers' first pinch-hit grand slam in two decades, Rogers boosted his batting average in his past 26 games to .479 (23-for-48), and his team-leading total of pinch-hits to 13.

Rogers on his clutch grand slam

Rogers remained in the game at third base in the bottom of the ninth and committed a two-out throwing error that extended a Cardinals rally long enough to require a call for closer Francisco Rodriguez, who recorded the final out for his 37th save and a split of the four-game series.

It was Rogers' third error in 11 innings at third. The Brewers have a vacancy at that position next season, but Rogers fits better at first base, or as a reserve at first, third and left field.

Of Rogers' success at the plate, manager Craig Counsell said, "He's gotten a little more opportunity this month, but it's a professional at-bat. It's a quality at-bat against all types [of pitchers], I think, is the big thing. He's showing he can handle all types of pitching, for sure."

Rogers' was the fifth pinch-hit grand slam in franchise history, and the first since Matt Mieske connected against the Twins on Sept. 3, 1995. The others came from Joe Lahoud (1973), Darrell Porter (1974) and Don Money (1977).

"I'm just trying to finish up strong, really," Rogers said. "I've been getting a few more at-bats, which kind of helps, but just doing whatever it takes to help the team to win."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.