Coming into this evening’s game with the Pirates, Milwaukee was 1-5 on the current road trip. Two late losses to Oakland and a sweep via the Cubs had the Brewers on the skids. Milwaukee was in need of a win in the biggest way. They got one as Christian Yelich recorded 4 hits and 2 homers in this less than easy victory.
The Brew Crew started things off well. Yelich hit a home run to the opposite field in the first inning for the second consecutive game. It was the MVP’s 38th of the season, and the Brewers had an early 1-0 lead.
The top of the fourth inning proved to be a big inning for Milwaukee, something rare of late. They were able to score 4 in the inning and take a 5-0 lead. Mike Moustakas was responsible for the first run. He was denied his 27th home run of the season in the second inning.
Moose would not be denied in the top of the fourth. He crushed number 27 off the back bleachers in right field, the only thing keeping the ball from landing in the Allegheny River.
Lorenzo Cain, Eric Thames, and Orlando Arcia hit three straight singles in the fourth to load the bases with no one out. Cain scored on a fielder’s choice by Jordan Lyles. Trent Grisham scored everyone else with a single in to centerfield.
The Pirates battled back. In the bottom of the fourth, Bryan Reynolds hit a solo shot to get Pittsburgh on the board. Pinch hitter, Pablo Reyes, launched a 2-run shot to get the Bucs within 2.
Bonus runs were the name of the game (and absolutely necessary) as the Brewers got the offense rolling again in the top of the eighth. Mike Moustakas led off by reaching on an error by second baseman, Adam Frazier. Lorenzo Cain followed with a single up the middle. Eric Thames singled up the middle as well, scoring Moustakas.
Orlando Arcia sliced a single up the right field line, barely hitting the chalk line. LoCain scored as the Brewers chased reliever Francisco Liriano to the showers without recording an out in the inning. With runners on the corners and just one out, Trent Grisham lifted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Thames, padding the lead for the Brewers 8-3.
With the Pirates looking to start something in the bottom of the eighth, Starling Marte ripped a line drive over the head of Lorenzo Cain that looked headed for the centerfield wall. Unfortunately for Marte, you cannot get a ball over the head of Mr. Cain.
That catch was fortunate for the Brew Crew as the Pirates did rally in the eighth. After a scoreless sixth by Drew Pomeranz and seventh by Matt Albers, Freddy Peralta took the eighth. Fastball Freddy lost command and control after getting the first two outs of the inning. He served up back-to-back walks to Josh Bell and Jose Ozuna. Melky Cabrera placed a ball up the middle that Arcia got to, but that was all. He saved a run, but the bases were loaded. Kevin Newman brought everyone home with a double to right.
With the Pirates within two, Craig Counsell called for Josh Hader to bail Peralta out of the mess he caused. Hader did what Hader does. He struck out Elias Diaz swinging.
In the top of the ninth, the Brewers were able to add on. Christian Yelich launched his 39th home run of the season that went over the stadium and into the Allegheny.
With a three run lead, Josh Hader looked to shut down the Pirates in the ninth. He got pinch hitter, Jacob Stallings to fly out. He blew Adam Frazier away. And Bryan Reynolds, looking like a future batting champion, laced a shot down the line just of the reach of a diving Mike Moustakas for a double to keep the inning going. Starlin Marte followed up with a triple into the left-centerfield gap, scoring Reynolds.
Just like that, the score was 9-7 and the tying run in the form of Josh Bell came to the plate. Luckily Hader was able to get Bell to pop out to Arcia to get his 25th save of the season.
The Brewers and Pirates go at it again tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CT. Chase Anderson gets the ball for Milwaukee, and Steven Brault does the same for Pittsburgh. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin and heard on WTMJ.