The Milwaukee Brewers are the hottest team in Major League Baseball right now, and they kept the ball rolling on Thursday night during their series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The Cream City Nine jumped out to an early lead in the second inning, one that they would not relinquish.
Tyrone Taylor started the first scoring rally by drawing a leadoff walk in the top of the second frame, and then he came around to home on a three-bagger by “On-Base Jace” Peterson to make it 1-0. Two batters later, Jackie Bradley, Jr. doubled Peterson home to bring the score to 2-0.
In the third inning, Kolten Wong was removed from the game with a reaggravation of his calf injury. According to Craig Counsell after the game, it’s “back to square one” with Wong and this malady, and another stint on the Injured List is being considered.
Corbin Burnes got the start on the mound for the Brew Crew, and the Pirates didn’t scratch anything across against him until the fifth inning. Old friend Ben Gamel launched a cut-fastball out over the fence in right-center for a solo home run, bringing the score to 2-1. That’d be the only run allowed by Burnes, whose night also ended prematurely as he pitched into the eighth inning. Burnes caught a cleat and jammed his knee on a pitch, and was removed mostly for precautionary measures. After the game both he and Counsell suggested that there isn’t much concern about the injury, and there is optimism that he’ll still be able to make his next start as scheduled. Anyways, his line was 7.1 innings pitched, one earned run on four hits and a walk, and five strikeouts.
The Brewers plated another pair of runs in the sixth. Taylor and Peterson both walked to start the inning, then Keston Hiura lined an RBI single. JBJ walked after that, and after a punchout by Burnes, Daniel Robertson lofted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-1. Their final scoring came in the top of the ninth. Robertson singled to lead off, then Christian Yelich singled with one out to put runners on the corners. A double by Omar Narvaez scored Robertson to make it 5-1, then a Tyrone Taylor single brought two more runners home to push the score to 7-1.
After Burnes’ exit, Devin Williams finished out the eighth inning by inducing a flyout and a groundout. Alec Bettinger came on in the ninth after Milwaukee extended their lead, and he allowed a run on a pair of doubles but ended the game at a score of 7-2. The Brewers are now riding a 9-game winning streak and will continue their series against the Pirates on Friday evening. Adrian Houser will face JT Brubaker, with first pitch set for 6:05 pm central.