WP: Jeff Locke (9-7); LP: Blaine Boyer (1-3); Save: Neftali Feliz (2); HR: Pitt: none; Mil: Hernan Perez 2 (12, 13); Tyler Cravy (1)
The Pittsburgh Pirates roared back from a 5-1 third inning deficit to top the Brewers by 3 at Miller Park tonight. A five run fourth and a three run sixth provided Pittsburgh with enough runs to overcome a three homer night from the Brewers.
Pittsburgh drew first blood when Josh Harrison led off the game with a single and come around to score on a two out double from Starling Marte. Jimmy Nelson struggled through the first, issuing a walk to go with the two hits.
The Brewers answered quickly. With one down, Scooter Gennett blooped a hit to center; Ryan Braun worked a walk, and Hernan Perez launched his 13th homer of the season to give the Brewers a 3-1 lead. With two down Domingo Santana doubled into the right-center gap and and Orlando Arcia brought him in with a single in the hole on the left side. 4-1 Brewers.
Perez led off the bottom of the third with his second homer of the night (13 on the season), this one to dead center. The Brewers handed Nelson a 5-1 lead into the fourth.
It wasn’t enough. After retiring the first batter, Nelson allowed two walks and four singles that turned into five Pirate runs before Craig Counsell was forced to remove him. Jimmy ended up going 3.2 innings, allowing 7 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout. Tyler Cravy relieved Nelson, and got the third out after a walk.
Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Cravy shocked everyone at Miller Park by driving reliever Jeff Locke’s first pitch into the second deck in left to tie things up at 6. It was Cravy’s first Major League hit, and it was a no doubter. All knotted up at six into the fifth.
After a scoreless fifth from Cravy, Blaine Boyer was roughed up to the tune of three runs in the top of the sixth. A bases clearing double from Gregory Polanco after a single, double, and intentional walk loaded them up put the Pirates up 9-6.
After Cravy’s homer, Pirate relievers faced the minimum from the rest of the fourth through the seventh. A double play grounder from Braun erased the only Brewer hit during that stretch, a single from Gennett. The Brewers fanned six times in those four innings.
A one out single from Chris Carter (twenty straight games on base) in the eighth interrupted that string, but Santana and Arcia k’d swinging to send the game to the ninth with Pittsburgh still up by three.
The Brewers tried to rally against Neftali Feliz in the ninth. A one out pinch single from Jonathan Villar and a two out walk by Gennett put the tying run at the plate in Ryan Braun. He topped a slow roller to short and was barely nipped at first, a ruling that was confirmed on review to end the contest.
Sunday’s game will have the Pirates (67-61) sending Ivan Nova (10-6, 4.55) out to face Chase Anderson (7-10, 4.99) for the Brewers (56-73).