Another day, another stellar start by Brandon Woodruff.
The ace of the Milwaukee Brewers entered Friday night’s start on a streak of 11 straight outings with two earned runs allowed or fewer, and that he extended that string to a dozen by keeping the Pittsburgh Pirates at bay. Woodruff didn’t have the same strikeout stuff as he’s had in previous appearances this season, punching out five batters across seven innings, but he induced 12 ground ball outs as he kept the infield busy behind him. Woody allowed only four hits, with the only damage done against him coming off solo home runs by Ben Gamel in the second inning, and Gregory Polanco in the sixth.
Milwaukee’s offense got on the board in the second inning. Trailing 1-0, Omar Narvaez led off with a double, then Jace Peterson walked with one out. That brought Jackie Bradley, Jr. to the plate and he singled to right to score Narvaez and move Peterson up to third. Then Woodruff bunted home the second run, scoring Peterson to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
After Pittsburgh tied the game up in the sixth, the Brewers hung a crooked number on them in the seventh to pull back ahead. It started with a one-out walk by Daniel Robertson, then an infield single off the bat of Luis Urias. Dan Vogelbach walked to load the bases, then Christian Yelich came up with the MVP-type moment that fans in Milwaukee have been missing for the last couple of seasons. His two-run double to center field gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead, but the rally didn’t stop there. Avisail Garcia whiffed for the second out, but then Narvaez was intentionally walked to reload the bases. The strategy didn’t work out as Pittsburgh hurler Clay Holmes then walked Willy Adames on four straight to force home another run. Trevor Cahill came on next in relief for the Pirates but he couldn’t find the zone, either; he walked Jace Peterson and JBJ to force home two more runs. When the dust settled on the inning, it was 7-2 Brewers.
Hoby Milner gave up a pair of unearned runs in the eighth when Erik Gonzalez reached on an error then Ke’Bryan Hayes went deep, making it 7-4. But Josh Hader put up another zero to record his 15th save of the season and secure the victory for the Brew Crew. The Brewers and Pirates play some afternoon baseball on Saturday, with first pitch at American Family Field scheduled for 3:10 PM central. Chad Kuhl will face Corbin Burnes.