Brewers 7, Red Sox 2: William Contreras hits a highlight-reel homer in victory

BOSTON – The Milwaukee Brewers homered only once on Friday night.

But man, was it a memorable one.

Red-hot William Contreras belted a two-run shot out to left in the third inning that will undoubtedly be on all the sports highlight shows as it narrowly missed hitting a fan sitting atop Fenway Park’s Green Monster in left field before knocking a full container of popcorn airborne on the rebound.

BOX SCORE: Brewers 7, Red Sox 2

The 111.8-mph rocket gave the Brewers a three-run lead, and another three-run inning in the fifth put an eventual 7-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on ice.

"He's a top-five player in baseball right now," said right-hander Bryse Wilson, who improved to 3-1 after pitching 5 ⅓ strong innings behind opener Jared Koenig. "I don't think there's any question about that."

Christian Yelich also had three hits and Contreras, Willy Adames and Blake Perkins two hits apiece to lead an 11-hit attack for Milwaukee in its first appearance in Boston since 2022.

Brewers catcher William Contreras watches his two-run home run leave the ballpark against the Red Sox during the third inning Friday night at Fenway Park.
Brewers catcher William Contreras watches his two-run home run leave the ballpark against the Red Sox during the third inning Friday night at Fenway Park.

William Contreras provides some fireworks

Cedanne Rafaela – who made a highlight-reel grab in the second to rob Joey Ortiz of extra bases – was unable to run down a Jackson Chourio drive to center to open the third. After a Perkins bunt single moved him up to third, Brice Turang's sacrifice fly to left gave Milwaukee the lead at 1-0.

That brought up Contreras, who absolutely obliterated a 79.6-mph sweeper right over the plate out from right-hander Kutter Crawford and over the Green Monster. The ball was hit so hard it caromed off the wall behind the second row of seating and then knocked a full container of popcorn into the air, spilling the contents everywhere.

It made for quite the visual.

The Brewers arranged for TV analyst Tim Dillard – who was off but at the ballpark with his family with the game being broadcast on AppleTV+ – to run up to the top of the Green Monster to hand-deliver a new container of popcorn to the couple (who also happened to be Red Sox fans).

Then after the game, the couple was brought onto the field along with the empty original container to meet Contreras, who signed the bucket in another camera-worthy moment.

"That's a moment that that I don't think either of us are going to forget," Contreras said after the game. "So, I told them if they want me to pay for the popcorn I'll pay them with some tickets."

They accepted, right?

"They didn't say anything," Contreras said. "I signed the bucket."

Hitting a homer over the Green Monster is a highlight for any major-league player, but Contreras said he didn't have time to stop and admire his handiwork in the moments after his swing.

"I was running hard out of the box because it's the Green Monster out there, and you never really know," he said. "It takes a pretty good hitter to get on top of that thing. Yeah, I knew I hit it well."

The homer was the eighth of the season for the Brewers' backstop, who's also hitting .337 with 42 runs batted in and an OPS of .950. As Wilson said, there aren't many better hitters – or overall players – playing better or with more confidence than Contreras right now.

"He's a huge part of our success," said Yelich, who was in a similar spot back in 2018 and 2019. "Especially when there's guys on in front of him. That's kind of when big innings happen, and then it's kind of on the rest of us to do our jobs and keep the line moving after.

"The fact that he plays every day is huge."

Bryse Wilson stepped up big

Milwaukee got two-thirds of an inning out of "opener" Jared Koenig, then handed the ball off to Wilson, who proceeded to navigate his way through the sixth before being replaced by Bryan Hudson.

He scattered six hits and allowed a pair of runs while striking out seven over his 80-pitch outing. Wilson departed with a 6-2 lead thanks to a three-run fifth that was highlighted by consecutive doubles by Yelich (RBI) and Adames (two RBI).

"He's a key portion of this pitching staff," manager Pat Murphy said of Wilson, who's allowed no more than two runs in any of his 13 appearances (2.86 ERA). "He's versatile. And when we needed him to start he's stepped up and done it. He said, 'I can do it,' and he's backed up everything he's said and done a great job for us."

Save for the seventh inning, the offense was relentless

The Brewers had a prime opportunity to blow the game wide open against familiar face Chase Anderson when they loaded the bases with one out in the seventh only to let Anderson wriggle off the hook with consecutive strikeouts.

They did tack on a final run in the ninth when Yelich singled, advanced to third on the second double of the night by Adames and scored two batters later on an Ortiz sacrifice fly.

The 11 hits helped Milwaukee to its 17th road victory of the season, which is tied with San Diego for the National League lead, and improved its record on the current road trip to 3-4.

"It was a great game for us," Contreras said. "Guys like Yelich, Adames, myself, we were able to put it together offensively along with the pitchers. We were able to play a clean game."

Brewers time, TV, radio

The Brewers game starts at 6:10 p.m. Friday.

TV: Apple TV+. Radio: AM-620 and a state network.

Brewers lineup

  • Brice Turang 2B

  • William Contreras C

  • Christian Yelich DH

  • Willy Adames SS

  • Jake Bauers 1B

  • Joey Ortiz 3B

  • Sal Frelick RF

  • Jackson Chourio LF

  • Blake Perkins CF

Red Sox lineup

Brewers schedule

Brewers at Red Sox, 3:10 p.m. Saturday: Milwaukee RHP Colin Rea (3-2, 4.07) vs. Boston RHP Nick Pivetta (2-2, 3.04). Broadcasts: TV – Bally Sports Wisconsin. Radio – AM-620.

Brewers at Red Sox, 12:35 p.m. Sunday: Milwaukee TBA vs. Boston RHP Tanner Houck (4-5, 1.94). Broadcasts: TV – Bally Sports Wisconsin. Radio – AM-620.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers 7, Red Sox 2: William Contreras hits a highlight-reel homer in victory