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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Elian Herrera felt down last month after not making the Milwaukee Brewers out of spring training.
After hitting a homer for the second straight night, the career utility man is making a case for staying in the big leagues for good.
Herrera hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and Khris Davis followed with a solo shot, helping Milwaukee hold off the Chicago White Sox 10-7 on Monday night.
It nearly made the team forget it had squandered a 6-0 lead.
"Every time you see a game like that, and the other team just tied the game, it's tough for us," Herrera said. "We've got to keep it going."
Herrera, filling in at third for injured starter Aramis Ramirez, hit his shot into the left-field stands off reliever Zach Duke (1-2) to break a 7-all tie.
Davis followed two batters later with his pinch-hit shot high and deep to left.
"It doesn't feel good," Duke said. "I left a couple pitches up and they hammered them."
The Brewers won their third straight game to improve to 12-21 overall and 5-3 since Craig Counsell took over for fired manager Ron Roenicke.
"We battled, you know?" Counsell said.
Just like Herrera, who spent his time at Triple-A Colorado Springs trying to prove he belonged back in Milwaukee.
"I was kind of sad that all my life I've been in a situation like that and having a hard time to just stay (on) the team," Herrera said about his early demotion. "For me, it was just trying to push me, and say, 'You've got to do that.'"
Adam Eaton's two-out RBI single off Jonathan Broxton (1-0) had tied the game at 7 in the top of the eighth.
Francisco Rodriguez allowed a leadoff single to Jose Abreu in the ninth before getting Avisail Garcia to bounce into a double play. Rodriguez wrapped up his seventh save by getting Conor Gillaspie to ground out.
A night after beating the Reds' Aroldis Chapman in the ninth for a 4-3 win, the White Sox couldn't repeat the feat against the Brewers' veteran closer.
"The comeback's great, I think that showed a lot of our lineup to battle back," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's a tough one just because of the way we battled back."
White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija was shelled for eight hits and five earned runs in six innings.
Milwaukee built its big, early lead behind Carlos Gomez, who homered and tripled in his first game this season as the cleanup hitter.
"Like I've said before, I feel sexy hitting (cleanup). It's a different feeling," said the eccentric Gomez. "I go to the plate like, 'I'm the man.'"
He also proved he was over a sore hip that bothered him last week by tripling to the right-field corner in the fifth.
What followed was a play that looked like it was straight out of a Little League game.
Garcia's errant throw bounced into short left-center. Gomez beat charging left fielder Melky Cabrera's throw home on a call that stood after replay review for a five-run lead.
Gomez also ended the top of the eight by snaring Cabrera's long drive with an over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track in center.
White Sox: Pitcher Hector Noesi pitched to the final batter in the bottom of the eighth in his first appearance since leaving Saturday's start against Cincinnati in the second inning with a back injury. With the pitching staff taxed because of a weekend doubleheader and the suspension of Chris Sale, Ventura said he hoped to have his rotation sorted out by Wednesday for the series in Oakland starting Friday.
Brewers: Tests on Ramirez's sore lower back revealed just a muscle strain, and the veteran said he hopes he won't need a trip to the disabled list. Counsell said Ramirez was day to day.
White Sox: Sale (2-1) returned to the team on Monday following a five-game suspension for his role in an on-field scrum on April 23 between Chicago and Kansas City. He is 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his career in interleague play.
Brewers: Mike Fiers (1-4) has 20 strikeouts in his last two starts, against the Cubs and Dodgers. But he gave up five earned runs in five innings in his last outing, May 7 against Los Angeles.
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