Win: Rodriguez (1-3)
Loss: Liz (1-4)
Save: Lohse (2)
HR: Davis (19), McCutchen (22), Polanco (8)
The Brewers got off to a hot start in Thursday's series opener against the Pirates. They finished strong, too. It's the middle innings that were a bit iffy, though not iffy enough to keep them from winning.
Milwaukee scored three runs in the first inning. Scooter Gennett led the game off with a double and, two batters later, came home on a groundout by Ryan Braun. Adam Lind followed that up with a single to set Khris Davis up for a two-run homer to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead.
Over the next nine innings, the Brewers had three hits. The Pirates, meanwhile, got a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly. Then Jeremy Jeffress walked in a run in the seventh. Finally, Andrew McCutchen tied it up at three apiece with a solo homer in the eighth. Nobody could make a dent in the ninth, so to extras we went.
The Brewers had a strong chance at winning in the 11th frame -- a Ryan Braun lead-off walk was nullified when he was caught stealing and Jean Segura grounded out with two outs after a Jason Rogers single and Domingo Santana double to leave two runners in scoring position.
Instead, Milwaukee took the lead again in the 12th. With two outs, the Brewers had runners on first and second after Logan Schafer and Elian Herrera walks. Ryan Braun took the first pitch he saw into center field for an RBI single to put the Brewers up by a run. To protect the lead, Milwaukee brought in closer Francisco Rodriguez and, in a rare moment this season, Rodriguez blew the save as Pirates outfielder Gregory Polcano homered to tie it back up 4-4.
Fortunately, the Brewers had just enough left in them to pull out a win in the 13th. Nevin Ashley led off the inning with a non-out strikeout as he reached base on a wild pitch. Domingo Santana struck out, then Jean Segura singled to put two on. A Martin Maldonado strikeout put the Pirates an out away from escaping the inning, but Logan Schafer singled to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead. Luis Sardinas followed that up with an RBI single of their own to make it a two-run cushion.
Kyle Lohse then came on in the bottom of the thirteenth and earned his second save after allowing just a two-out single.
After a long game, the Brewers still have three more against Pittsburgh in this series. First pitch tomorrow is set for 6:05 CT.