Brewers' Broxton rakes against American League teams

Interleague play has long lost its initial appeal with most Major League Baseball fans since its debut in 1997.

For many, its just another game featuring a change of scenery and maybe the addition of a designated hitter (or not).

But Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Keon Broxton is still intrigued, apparently.

In 62 career at-bats against American League teams, Broxton has slugged seven homers. He ranks second all-time in the fewest at-bats per home run in interleague play, sandwiched between former home run kings Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco.

Fewest At-Bats per Home Run in Interleague Play, All-Time

Mark McGwire 8.54
Keon Broxton 8.86
Jose Canseco 9.69
Cody Bellinger 10.00

Four of Broxtons seven interleague homers have come this season: one each against the Red Sox and Orioles, and two during a three-game series with the Blue Jays.

He has a .274 batting average and a 1.032 on-base plus slugging (OPS), as well as five steals in 17 career starts against American League teams.

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His teammate, Jonathan Villar, has five homers and nine steals versus AL opponents, making the Brewers duo two of the six players with at least five of each in interleague games the past two seasons.

Broxton has yet to face the Tampa Bay Rays, who the Brewers visit for a weekend series beginning Friday evening.

Since being recalled Aug. 1 to the Brewers, Broxton has collected three hits and two walks in 11 plate appearances. He also robbed Jose Martinez of a home run to preserve a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Thursday.

NOTABLE

-- Milwaukee has lost all three series to the Tampa Bay Rays in franchise history.

-- The series might be decided by who can beat the shift the best. The Rays and Brewers have employed the defensive shift the second- and third-most times this year across MLB.

-- Eric Thames has a .774 slugging percentage in games the Brewers have won. In losses, it dips to .320 a difference of .454.

-- Brandon Woodruff makes his MLB debut Friday night in Tampa Bay, becoming the 20th rookie to start a game for Milwaukee since 2012. Only the Reds (25) and As (22) have started more rookies in that span.

Statistics courtesy STATS