WP: Brent Suter (3-2); LP: Jameson Taillon (7-7); Save: Corey Knebel (36); Homeruns: Mil - Ryan Braun (17); Pitt - none
The Pirates contributed to the win with some iffy defense and some horrible base running. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh with one down, catcher Elias Diaz lined an outside fastball off of Josh Hader down the rightfield line. When Hernan Perez failed to cut it off Diaz decided to go for a triple. Perez’ throw to Eric Sogard, and Sogard’s relay to Travis Shaw had Diaz by ten feet. Two down, nobody on base.
Corey Knebel came in for the ninth and struck out the first two he faced, but Gregory Polanco singled to left center. Polanco inexplicably tried for second - first off, you need three runs, and secondly, Brett Phillips was in center. Maverick’s throw was a perfect one hopper on the bag and Polanco was out to end the game (upheld on appeal).
Milwaukee rode the start of Brent Suter, who went five innings of shutout ball, giving up four singles and no walks, with four strikeouts. Jeremy Jeffress gave up a single by Andrew McCutchen (who had a three hit night) off of his, um, upper thigh leading off the bottom of the sixth and then struck out David Freese. Josh Bell pinch hit, and Hader replaced Jeffress. He worked 12⁄3 innings, striking out three and benefiting from the Diaz baserunning blunder.
Anthony Swarzak had a perfect eighth with a strikeout, and it was the 36th save of the season for Knebel. Brewer pitchers ended the night with no walks and eleven strikeouts.
Ryan Braun provided the first run of the night with a 430’ blast to left center, his seventeenth of the season. Pirates’ starter Jameson Taillon hung a cut fastball middle in, belt high, and Braunie nailed it.
The second run came across in the sixth. Jonathan Villar had his second pinch double in as many games, moved to third on a single to left from Sogard, and scored on a line single to center by Neil Walker. That put runners at first and third with nobody down, and ended Taillon’s night. Pittsburgh reliever AJ Schugel retired Braun, Travis Shaw, and Eric Thames to escape further damage.
The eighth inning brought the final run of the night. With two on and one down, Shaw banged a hard smash up the middle that Jordy Mercer over-ran and allowed into center for an RBI single (number 96 for Shaw).
The Brewers added two stolen bases (Braun and Phillips). Maverick had a walk and a double, and Walker, Braun, and Shaw all had two hits.
The Brewers played solidly in all aspects tonight. A bit more hitting with runners in scoring position and this would have been a little less tense, but they can save some runs for the weekend against the Cubs. Milwaukee (80-70) will send Chase Anderson (10-3, 2.88) out for game two tomorrow night, and the Pirates (68-83, losers of six straight) counter with Trevor Williams (6-8, 4.26).