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Brewers blow open game late, beat Pirates 10-4

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Ryan Braun’s three-run home run blows the game open, and Brandon Woodruff tied a career high ten strikeouts.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

After a rough series against the Marlins, the Brewers welcomed the Pirates to town as the teams met for their second series in a week. The Brewers made sure this one would start much better than their series to start the homestand.

Eric Thames got the scoring off today in the second inning. He only went 1-for-5 in the game, but he made sure that 1 hit count. With Yasmani Grandal on base following a double, Thames launched a home run to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.

The Brewers weren’t done there in the second, though. Travis Shaw walked and Orlando Arcia singled to put two new runners on base. Brandon Woodruff then laid down a great sacrifice bunt to move the runners up, and Lorenzo Cain took a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Christian Yelich followed it up with a fly ball to left, but it wasn’t very deep. Shaw went to score and likely would have been an easy out, but Melky Cabrera’s throw was way off and Shaw scored easily, increasing the lead to 3-0. That’s all the Brewers could get in the second as Ryan Braun grounded out to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Woodruff was on fire to start this game. In his first two innings, he struck out five of the six batters he faced. Unfortunately, it started to unravel in the third. Elias Diaz led off with a single, and Adam Frazier followed with a triple to put the Pirates on the board at 3-1. A Bryan Reynolds double with two outs drove in Frazier and closed the lead to 3-2. The Brewers loaded the bases again in the bottom of the third with two outs, but Brandon Woodruff couldn’t cash in and the score stayed at 3-2.

After Woodruff got back on track with two more strikeouts in the top of the fourth, the Brewers tacked on a run in the bottom of the inning. Yelich hit a one out single, and then stole second base as Braun struck out. Mike Moustakas came up next and hit a ground ball that just got out of the infield to score Yelich, increasing the gap to 4-2.

The Pirates got that run back in the top of the sixth, as Kevin Newman homered to lead off the inning and make it a 4-3 game. Woodruff struck out two of the three batters in that inning to finish up his day. Overall, it was a good day for Woodruff. Though he did allow three runs, he also struck out ten and only walked one. He also allowed four hits in the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jesus Aguilar pinch hit to lead off the inning and hit a double to put a runner on base. Unfortunately, Aguilar was caught off the base as Cain hit a ground ball right to the pitcher for the first out of the inning. Cain reached on the fielder’s choice, and then went to third on a single by Yelich. Ryan Braun came up next. It wasn’t Braun’s day today, as he went 1-for-5 in the game with three strikeouts, but his one hit was incredibly important. On a 3-2 count, Braun hit a home to straight away center field to give the Brewers a 7-3 lead.

The Brewers didn’t let up there. In the bottom of the seventh, Thames reached base on an error by Colin Moran. Thames moved up to second on a wild pitch, and then Shaw singled to bring Thames in, increasing the lead to 8-3. Arcia doubled to put runners at second and third, and then Cain singled to drive them both in, making it a 10-3 lead.

The bullpen took over for the Brewers in the seventh. Alex Claudio worked around a single for a scoreless seventh inning. Corbin Burnes took over in the eighth, allowed a single to Jacob Stallings and then a double to Reynolds as the Pirates got a run back, making in a 10-4 game, but struck out Cabrera to end the inning. He finished off the game in the ninth, working around a walk to Josh Bell with strikeouts to Gregory Polanco and Geoff Hartlieb to end the game.

Yelich continued his red-hot season with a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Moustakas and Arcia each had two hits and a walk in the game, and Grandal also added on two hits. Travis Shaw only had one hit, but reached base three times by adding on two walks. Every starting position player had at least one hit in the game, as the Brewers recorded 14 hits in total.

The series continues tomorrow afternoon at Miller Park. In a rematch from last week, Zach Davies will face Jordan Lyles in game two of the weekend series. First pitch is at 3:10 pm.