Win: Tony Watson (4-0)
Loss: Francisco Rodriguez (1-1)
Save: Mark Melancon (5)
Francisco Rodriguez has been nearly untouchable this season, but for the second time in the last four days, Rodriguez was unable to pitch a scoreless inning and gave the Pirates a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. The Brewers offense was able to bail Rodriguez out on Sunday, but just couldn't do so tonight as the Brewers fell to the Pirates.
With the game tied at one in the top of the ninth, Rodriguez entered and promptly got Jose Tabata to line out to right field. Unfortunately, things got much worse very quickly. Rodriguez gave up three consecutive singles before a Starling Marte double scored the second and third runs of the inning and essentially sealed a victory for the Pirates.
The Pirates' offensive outburst in the ninth inning was uncharacteristic for the evening as neither offense was able to get much of anything going tonight with each team only able to muster a single run against each starting pitcher.
The Pirates struck first as they added a run in the top of fourth when McCutchen and Alvarez set the table for Jose Tabata. With runners on the corners and no outs, Tabata was able score McCutchen from third with a ground ball to Jean Segura.
Besides the fourth inning, Peralta was able to shut down the Pirates allowing only one run through seven innings to record his seventh consecutive quality start. Peralta allowed only six base runners (five hits, one walk) while striking out four to limit the Pirates offensively.
The Brewers were just as hapless at the plate against Francisco Liriano as they scored just once against him in six innings. The Brewers' lone run against Liriano came in the bottom of the fifth inning with a nice piece of situational hitting from Jeff Bianchi. Khris Davis doubled to lead off the inning and Segura reached first on an error by first baseman Ike Davis to put runners on first and third for Bianchi, who hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Davis.
It would be the only run the Brewers could muster against Liriano on the night. Liriano posted seven strikeouts and showed glimpses of the dominant pitcher he has been multiple times throughout his career. The Brewers just couldn't figure out Liriano tonight.
Though the offense wasn't great, there were a few bright spots. Rickie Weeks looked a lot like...well...Rickie Weeks as he worked the count against Liriano a few times and eventually ended up on base twice with a walk and a hit. Davis and Lucroy also ended up with a walk and a hit on the night and Braun added two hits as he rounds back into shape after his DL stint.
The Brewers will be back in action again tomorrow afternoon with a chance to win the series and Yovani Gallardo on the mound. For the Pirates, Wandy Rodriguez will come off the DL and make his first start since April 19. First pitch is 1:10 p.m.