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Brewers sink Pirates, 7-1

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Crew cruises to win after early innings rally

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Brewers fans might have tuned in to this contest with some trepidation about the Brewers’ offense. Three key players - Lorenzo Cain, Kolten Wong, and Christian Yelich - are on the IL after Yelich abruptly moved from “improving” to IL status. What is left of the active Crewmates opened the game with their best efforts to quiet such concerns.

The Brewers’ first inning contained a boatload of singles and five runs that all came on two outs. Jackie Bradley, Jr. started things off with a single to third base and then stole second. Keston Hiura grounded out. Travis Shaw hit a bullet of a line drive, but right at Erik Gonzalez for an out. Avisaíl García came to the plate with two outs and hit a broken-bat fly ball that fell softly into the left-field gap to score JBJ from second and get the Brewers on the board.

The Brewers weren’t done there. Omar Narváez followed up with a line-drive single to left to advance Avisaíl García to second. Billy McKinney singled just inside the first base side and into right field to score Avi and advance Narváez to third.

Luis Urías lined a hit to center to bat in Narváez and McKinney.

Jace Peterson singled to knock in Urías and bring pitcher Brett Anderson to the plate. Anderson struck out to end the inning, but not before the Brewers had hit around in the first and plated five.

In the second inning, Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit a liner past Colin Moran and into the right-field corner. It gave him enough time for a not-even-close stand-up triple. Keston Hiura doubled to score JBJ and keep the offensive rally going.

An Avisaíl García sac fly then scored Hiura. Omar Narváez walked before Billy McKinney struck out to end the inning.

Pirates pitcher Trevor Cahill righted course after that, framing a couple of zero innings. The rest of the Pirates’ pitching staff would keep the Brewers relatively quiet for the remainder of the game.

In the fourth, the Brewers had a few defensive missteps that allowed a run to score. Travis Shaw just missed a hard-hit liner from Bryan Reynolds that ended up in left field, followed by a passed ball by Omar Narváez that allowed Reynolds to advance to second. Then, what would ordinarily be a routine out at first turned into an RBI single for Jacob Stallings after a throwing error by Luis Urías. The Brewers made up the out with a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning, but Urías would end the day with two more throwing errors.

Brett Anderson was at his best, inducing groundballs and soft contact and putting up 0s in short order. The Brewers allowed only one run on his watch, the one that happened to cross home on the first of Urías’ throwing errors. Anderson’s seven-inning performance tied for the longest starting pitching effort this season and was his longest start since July 2019. Eric Yardley and Drew Rassmussen each put up a scoreless inning to close out the game.

Other Notables:

  • Jackie Bradley Jr. had a three-hit game and extended his hitting streak to 7 games. With Wong, Cain, and Yelich on the IL, it’s the perfect time for JBJ’s bat to come alive.
  • Every Brewer starting as a position player got a hit in tonight's contest.

The Brewers return to action against the Pirates at American Family Field at 1:10 CT tomorrow, Sunday, April 18.