After getting off to a fast start with a solo home run by Andrew McCutchen on the first pitch of the game, the offense stayed quiet until the ninth inning.
Freddy Peralta had his best start of the season for the Crew, throwing six innings of shutout baseball while allowing just three hits and no walks to go with seven strikeouts.
After throwing 92 pitches through six, Craig Counsell opted to pull Peralta for Brad Boxberger, who gave up three hits and two runs as the Pirates took a 2-1 lead.
The rest of the bullpen did their job, however, holding the Pirates to no hits and no walks across 2.2 innings with four strikeouts.
While the Crew’s pitching was strong again, the offense struggled until the ninth, when a one-out rally put them ahead. Following a flyout by Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich bunted for a single and Kolten Wong and Omar Narvaez each got a single of their own to load the bases with one out.
As April draws to a close, who has been the Brewers’ MVP thus far?
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Corbin Burnes (1-0, 1.75 ERA, 33 K, 0.74 WHIP)
Eric Lauer (1-0, 2.20 ERA, 23 K, 1.04 WHIP)
Josh Hader (0.00 ERA, 15 K, 0.643 WHIP, 10 SV in 10 SVO)
Willy Adames (.225/.313/.437, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 118 OPS+)
Somebody else (leave a comment)
Andrew McCutchen, who was 2-for-3 at this point, stepped to the plate looking to drive in the go-ahead runs against his former team. He did just that, lining a single to right just over second baseman Josh VanMeter’s glove and scoring both Yelich and Wong for a 3-2 lead.
Devin Williams closed the game for his first save of the season, striking out the side in the ninth, as Josh Hader was unavailable after pitching the last two games. Hoby Milner, who pitched a scoreless eighth, earned the win while Chris Stratton was credited with a blown save and the loss.
The Brewers will remain in first place regardless of the Cardinals’ result tonight, as they currently lead by 1.5 games. The Crew will play host to the Cubs for the first time this season, after losing two of three at Wrigley to open their year.
Adrian Houser will get the ball for the Brewers as he faces off against Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs. First pitch is set for 7:10 CDT on Bally Sports Wisconsin and 620 WTMJ.