The Milwaukee Brewers were hoping to get back in the ‘W’ column today in their series finale matinee with Pittsburgh and sent their best pitcher to mound, Jimmy Nelson, to try and reverse their fortunes.
Nelson wasn’t his usual sharp self today, however. He would last only 5.0 innings, serving up 6 hits, including a homer, and 4 earned runs. He struck out 5 while walking only one.
The Pirates got on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd inning when an RBI single by Chris Stewart would give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. The Brewers would battle back in the top half of the 4th, scoring two runs thanks to an RBI double by Brett Phillips and a run-scoring groundout by Orlando Arcia to briefly take a 2-1 lead.
It wasn’t a lead that would last long, however. Gregory Polanco launched a homer off of Nelson in the bottom half of the 4th to tie the game back up at 2 apiece. The Pirates would go ahead for good in the 5th. Stewart lead off the inning with a single and moved up to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Jameson Taillon. Starling Marte whiffed to make it two outs with a runner on 2nd, but Josh Harrison rapped an RBI single to right to make it 3-2. Domingo Santana missed the cutoff man on the throw, allowing Harrison to move up to 2nd. He would score Pittsburgh’s 4th run of the game when the next batter, Andrew McCutchen, hit a soft liner to for an RBI single to right field.
The Brewers stranded runners on base in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings before the game ended in a 4-2 loss. That makes a sweep in Pittsburgh and now 5 losses in a row, dropping Milwaukee’s record to 52-46. They are now one game ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central Standings after starting the second half of the season with a 5.5 game lead.
The Brewers lead at some point in each one of their 4 games against the Pirates and recorded 38 hits in the series, but went just 5-30 with runners in scoring position. Manager Craig Counsell doesn’t appear worried about his club and believes the offense will rebound. “I am confident in our offense. We are going to score runs. I think that is a place we have been very consistent all year, and I think that will pick up for sure,” he said after the game.
The first-place Brewers now head to Philadelphia for the 2nd leg of their 3 city, 10 game road trip. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM CST at Citizen’s Bank Park with Matt Garza (4-4, 3.84 ERA) scheduled to take on Aaron Nola (6-6, 3.54 ERA).