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Brewers avoid sweep, keep Pirates at 81 wins with 9-3 victory

One day after clinching a non-losing season for the first time in 20 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates fail to make it a winning season (for now), giving up nine runs on 13 hits to the Brewers.

Where did that ball go?
Where did that ball go?
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Win: Wily Peralta (9-14)
Loss: Francisco Liriano (15-7)

HR: Andrew McCutchen (19), Khris Davis (9)

MVP: Aramis Ramirez (.129 WPA)
LVP: Michael Gonzalez (-.031 WPA)

Fangraphs Win Expectancy Graph

The big news in baseball yesterday was that the Pittsburgh Pirates ended 20 years of losing seasons by bettering the Brewers for their 81st victory of the season. A 9-3 victory by the Brewers on Wednesday night kept the Bucs at that mark--and away from a winning season--for at least another day.

Milwaukee got to Francisco Liriano early, tagging him for two runs in the second inning and five in the third. Khris Davis hit a two-run shot off of Liriano in the second inning to put the Brewers up 2-1. The Pirates had taken an early lead in the top of the inning on three singles.

After Pittsburgh tied the game at 2 on a Marlon Byrd single, the Brewers took control of the game in the bottom of the third, sending nine players to the plate. Nori Aoki and Carlos Gomez started the inning with back-to-back singles and Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez followed with back-to-back doubles. The fourth run of the inning scored on a Jeff Bianchi ground out and the fifth on a wild pitch.

Wily Peralta struggled at times but collected his ninth win of the season, giving up three runs on nine hits, while striking out six. He avoided what could have been a disaster in the fifth inning by getting a key defensive play and striking out Pedro Alvarez. Andrew McCutchen led off the inning with a home run that he either lost in the lights and was trying to locate or admired a bit too much. Peralta hit the next batter, Justin Morneau, in apparent retaliation. The benches cleared. We all thought of Dave Kerwin. But no fight ensued. Pittsburgh looked poised to rally but the rally died when Morneau tried to score on a double by Byrd but was thrown out at the plate. Peralta then stuck out Alvarez and got John Buck to ground out to end the inning and keep the damage to just one run.

Milwaukee tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning for a total of nine. The nine runs came on a night where the line-up featured Yuni Betancourt, Jeff Bianchi and Martin Maldonado, and it faced Liriano who had posted a 2.98 ERA and 1.23 WHIP on the season.

After an off day on Thursday, the Brewers head to Chicago on Friday to take on the Cubs. Game time is 1:20 pm.