The Brewers dropped the third game of the series against the Pirates on Saturday afternoon, losing 7-4 as Aaron Ashby struggled in his return from the injured list.
The Brewers picked up right where they left off on Friday after winning 19-2, as Christian Yelich was hit by a pitch before Rowdy Tellez moved him over with a groundout. Batting with two outs, Andrew McCutchen hustled for an infield single and Kolten Wong then drove Yelich in to give the Crew a 1-0 lead.
After a strong first two innings from Ashby where he struck out four Pirate hitters, he ran into trouble in the bottom of the third, giving up two singles and a two-run homer to Michael Chavis for a 3-1 Pirates lead. Ashby then gave up another homer to Oneil Cruz in the fourth to make it 4-1.
After the Cruz home run, Craig Counsell opted to go to his bullpen. Ashby lasted 3 2⁄3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and one walk while striking out six. Trevor Gott entered the game to replace Ashby and got out of the inning without any further damage.
The Brewers got one back in the top of the fourth when Yelich smashed a homer to right field, but the Pirates offense kept going in the bottom of the inning.
Gott started the inning with a strikeout but then walked both Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds before Chavis moved them over with a ground out. At this point, Counsell replaced Gott with Hoby Milner, who then proceeded to give up a two-run single to former Brewer Daniel Vogelbach followed by a run-scoring double from Diego Castillo to put the Pirates up 7-2.
Both offenses quieted down until the eighth, when Wong hit his sixth homer of the year. Luis Urias then singled and scored on a Jace Peterson double to cut the lead to 7-4, but the Brewers couldn’t do much else. After a leadoff four-pitch walk by Yelich in the ninth, the Brewers went down in order to end the game.
Chi Chi Gonzalez did well out of the bullpen for the Brewers, lasting three innings and allowing no runs on two hits and striking out two.
Offensively, the Brewers totaled 11 hits but only cashed in four runs, and the bottom two-thirds of the lineup carried the team. Between McCutchen, Wong, Urias, Victor Caratini, Jace Peterson and Jonathan Davis, the 4-9 hitters batted 10-for-25 (.400), while the 1-3 hitters (Yelich, Willy Adames and Tellez) batted just 1-for-10 (.100).
The Brewers will look to split the four-game set with the Pirates on Sunday as they send out Brandon Woodruff to take on Jose Quintana. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. CT. The Brewers will then return for a homestand against the Cubs and Pirates starting on Monday afternoon.