WP: Tony Watson (1-0); LP: Carlos Torres (1-3); Save: none; Homeruns: Mil. Hernan Perez (4); Pit. none
The Milwaukee Brewers appear to be missing the bat and the presence of Ryan Braun in their line-up. Pirate pitchers again dominated the Brewer hitters, allowing just three hits over ten innings, with legitimate scoring opportunities virtually nonexistent.
Hernan Perez delivered the only run the Brewers have scored in two games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh with a homerun leading off the top of the third. Gerrit Cole, the Bucs starting pitcher, allowed the dinger on a high fastball, but the only other Brewer runner to reach even second base was Domingo Santana in the second inning. Santana drew a one out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, then third on a groundout, but was stranded there when Nick Franklin struck out for the final out.
Santana followed Perez’ homer one out later with a base hit to center, but he was cut down trying to steal by Pirates’ catcher Francisco Cervelli. It would be fourteen more batters retired in order before Eric Thames dumped a Texas leaguer into left with one down in the ninth. Thames never advanced from there, and the Brewers never threatened again.
Pittsburgh knotted the game at one in the bottom of the fourth off of Brewer starter Matt Garza. A lead-off double by Josh Bell was followed by a flyout with Bell advancing to third and an RBI ground out by Gregory Polanco.
The winning run came in the bottom of the tenth off of the Brewers fourth pitcher, Carlos Torres. African born Gift Ngoepe singled between Travis Shaw and the third base bag leading off the inning. The Pirates eschewed the sacrifice bunt, but Torres obliged them by wild pitching Ngoepe to second. Jose Osuna’s flyball to center moved Ngoepe to third, and Josh Harrison drove home the winning run with a base hit to right.
Tonight’s contest included a couple of oddities. The Pirates had back to back doubles in the bottom of the second but didn’t score. Cervelli drove a one out double off the top of the Clemente Wall in right, but then inexplicably went back to tag up on John Jaso’s drive into the left center gap and only made it to third on Jaso’s double. Then, Jaso lost track of how many outs there were and took off for third on a liner to left by Jordy Mercer. Nick Franklin nabbed the liner and threw back to second behind Jaso to end the inning (with the first of three Brewer double plays). The force at second beat Cervelli tagging to try and score by an eyelash, ending the inning.
The Pirates loaded the sacks with three straight singles in the bottom of the fifth. Cole led off the inning with a groundball single into right, and base knocks by the two Joshes (Harrison and Bell) left the bases loaded. With Cole running, the Pirates didn’t want to risk the out at the plate for Cole, or an injury. Then Andrew McCutchen hit a sharp grounder to Shaw, who stepped on the bag and threw home to trap Cole in a rundown for the second out of the inning. Polanco grounded to second for the second out of the inning, and Garza retired Gregory Polanco on a jam shot bouncer to second.
The Brewers and Pirates tied a major league record (many) when all six hitters (for both teams) stuck out in the eighth inning. Felipe Rivero overpowered Franklin, Broxton, and Jesus Aguilar in the top half of the eighth with three swinging strikeouts, and Alen Hansen, Harrison, and Bell went down in the bottom half against Corey Knebel for Milwaukee.
The Brewers (15-16) send a resurgent Zach Davies (2-2, 6.06) out to face Tyler Glasnow (1-1, 6.97) for the Pirates (14-16). Game time is 12:35 pm on FSN Wisconsin.