It may have taken a few starts, but the Brewers pitching rotation is coming into shape.
In his third start of the season, Brandon Woodruff looked like the starter he was last season. Over six innings pitched, he allowed a total of three baserunners (two walks and a hit). He didn’t allow his first baserunner until the fourth inning. He did get into a bit of trouble in the sixth, but worked around a single and a walk to get out of the inning scoreless. In total for the day, he struck out nine batters and allowed no runs in those six innings.
Meanwhile, Pirates starter Mitch Keller kept the Brewers in check for the most part. His one run allowed was in the second inning, when Rowdy Tellez hit a leadoff home run to put the Brewers up 1-0. The Brewers had two more hits that inning but couldn’t get another run across. They had one more hit against him, as Keller struck out seven in 5.1 innings.
The game went over to the bullpens from there with the Brewers up 1-0. After Anthony Banda and Brad Boxberger each posted scoreless appearances, Miguel Yajure took the seventh for the Pirates. The first three batters that Yajure faced each recorded a hit: Hunter Renfroe double, Omar Narvaez single, and a Keston Hiura home run to make it a 4-0 game. The Brewers could have scored more as Yajure struggled to throw strikes and Tyrone Taylor doubled to put another runner in scoring position, but they could not get him across.
Brent Suter came in to start the eighth inning, and started it by allowing back to back singles. He did settle down and got a strikeout and a pop out afterwards, then Devin Williams came in to finish the eighth. Unfortunately, Williams struggled in his appearance. He had a wild pitch that put runners at second and third, and walked Bryan Reynolds to load the bases. Ke’Bryan Hayes took advantage, hitting a single to left that scored two and closed the Brewers lead to 4-2. Both runs were charged to Suter. Williams did get a strikeout to end the inning, but the Pirates closed the gap.
However, the Pirates would get no closer than that. Josh Hader came in for the ninth, and struck out the first two batters he faced. He allowed a single after that to bring the tying run to the plate, but got a groundout to finish the game and secure the series sweep.
All the offense came from the middle and bottom of the lineup. The top three in the lineup (Kolten Wong, Willy Adames, Christian Yelich) went 0-for-12, while the rest of the lineup was 8-for-20. Hunter Renfroe and Omar Narvaez led the offense with two hits a piece, and Rowdy Tellez and Keston Hiura had the big hits with a home run each.
After an off day on Thursday, the Brewers head on the road for six of seven in Pennsylvania. First up is the Phillies. Freddy Peralta faces Ranger Suarez in game one of the series. First pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT.