Brewers lose to Padres, rookie Jackson Merrill hits 440-foot, 3-run homer

Brice Turang #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers, right, is congratulated by Rhys Hoskins #12 and Jake Bauers #9 after hitting a grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres June 22, 2024 at Petco Park in San Diego, Cali

Rookie Jackson Merrill hit a 440-foot, three-run homer to the base of the batter's eye in center field and had a bat flip to match as the San Diego Padres beat the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Saturday for their fourth straight win.

Ha-Seong Kim and Kyle Higashioka also homered for the Padres, who popped back above .500 and will go for a four-game sweep on Sunday.

The Padres were cruising toward a shutout when Jhony Brito loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth on two singles and a walk, and then allowed Brice Turang's grand slam to left.

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Robert Suarez came on to get the final out for his 19th save.

The 21-year-old Merrill has 10 homers overall and seven in his last 10 games. That stretch started with two homers, including a walk-off shot, in a 5-4 home win against Oakland on June 12.

His blast Saturday was the longest of his career, surpassing the 411-foot shot he hit off Jose Quintana at the New York Mets on June 15.

Merrill carried his bat with him for the first few steps of his trot while watching the ball fly out of the park and then flipped it aside. He finished with three hits.

Kim homered to left-center two batters later, his 10th.

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Both were off rookie Carlos Rodriguez (0-3). He allowed four runs and six hits in four innings, struck out two and walked none.

Randy Vásquez (2-4) got his first win in five starts by holding the Brewers to five hits in five innings, with three strikeouts and three walks.

Higashioka hit a two-run homer with one out in the seventh, his sixth. He also twice threw out Turang trying to steal second base.