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Bats Silent as Mil falls to Pitt 5-0

WP - Jon Niese (2-0) LP - Taylor Jungmann (0-2) HR - Andrew McCutchen (Pitt), 1

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Was it unrealistic of me to expect to never have to cover a loss this year?  I promise that won't be the last time I have unrealistic expectations.

Jon Niese baffled the Brewers for 7 innings, allowing no runs, three hits, and three walks, while striking out three.  A two out double in the third by Domingo Santana gave early hope for another two-out hit producing a run, but a Jonathon Villar groundout ended the inning.

The Pirates scored three in the fourth off starter Taylor Jungmann with the key hit being a triple by Josh Harrison that probably should have been caught by Santana.  A solo homer from Andrew McCutchen in the 4th moved it to 4-0.  Jungmann finished his night with 4 runs (all earned) and 6 hits allowed in 6 innings of work.  His control was better than in his last start, only walking one with 6 k's.

The Brewers walked themselves into a 2 on, one out opportunity in the 8th off of Tony Watson, but Ryan Braun tried to pull an outside fastball from the lefty and bounced into a 6-4-3 double play.

Sam Freeman drew mop-up duty in the bottom of the eighth, and showed as much control as me with a case of Killians in the fridge.  Consecutive walks after one out were followed by an RBI single from Harrison, and a the third walk of the inning loaded the bases.  Freeman shut the door after that, and again lowered his ERA...that's two straight times!

Mark Melancon finished things off with a 1-2-3 9th in a non-save situation. striking out the side.

The Brewers (5-6) missed another opportunity to get above .500 and fall a half game behind the Pirates (6-6).

The Bucs and Brewers will decide the series  tomorrow afternoon, with Juan Nicasio for Pittsburgh facing Zach Davies in his first start of the 2016 campaign for Milwaukee.