What started as a story about a pitchers duel quickly turned into a night with a focus on the Brewers rookies. Time and time again, the Brewers have seen their rookies put into high-pressure moments and deliver. Tonight, there was some clutch base running along with some timely hitting, providing the Brewers with a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Of course, the Brewers’ ace kept the Pirates’ bats at bay early on. Corbin Burnes didn’t allow a hit through the first 4 ⅔ innings. He was efficient as ever, but he also got some help in the field. In the fourth inning in particular, the Brewers were sharp in the field. It started when Tyrone Taylor made a diving catch on a sharp liner from Bryan Reynolds. One batter later, Andruw Monasterio made a nice barehanded play on a grounder from Andrew McCutchen.
The Pirates finally broke through in the fifth. After getting their first hit with two outs in the inning, the Pirates got two on following an Alika Williams walk. Jason Delay then made it 2-0 when he doubled to left field. The Brewers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. Victor Caratini and Brice Turang opened the bottom of the frame with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch then put them in scoring position with no outs. Christian Yelich drove in one with a groundout to second. A William Contreras strikeout would end the threat.
Burnes ran into some more trouble in the sixth when he struggled to find the strike zone. He walked Bryan Reynolds, then forced back-to-back lineouts before walking Alfonso Rivas. With two on and two out, Craig Counsell made a trip to the mound to presumably take the ball out of Burnes’ hand. However, Burnes either did some negotiating or Counsell didn’t have any intention of taking out the right-hander, as he left the mound with Burnes still in the game. Corbin Burnes then struck out Ke’Bryan Hayes, ending the threat and his night.
The Brewers’ bats went ice cold after they cut the deficit to one. They were 0-for-10 following the run headed into the ninth inning, still trailing 2-1. They went to work in the ninth, however, as Carlos Santana opened up the final frame with a single to right. Blake Perkins was then brought in as a pinch runner. One batter later, Perkins showed off some great base running, tagging and advancing to second on an Adames flyout. A wild pitch then allowed the rookie to get to third with only one out. Fellow rookie Sal Frelick then knocked a base hit to left, tying the game and forcing extra innings.
Devin Williams locked down the 10th, keeping the game tied at 2-2. In the bottom of the inning, Mark Cahna was intentionally walked to give the Brewers two on. Christian Yelich appeared to leg out an infield single, but the call was overturned upon review. Still, the Brewers had two men in scoring position. An intentional walk of Contreras loaded the bases for Perkins. Perkins ended the night playing hero again, walking off the Pirates with a single to right and giving the Brewers the 3-2 win.
The game-tying single from Frelick, along with the game-winning hit from Perkins meant the Brewers made some history Saturday night. According to Opta Stats, the Brewers became the first team in the modern era to have two rookies who didn’t start the game get a game-tying hit in the ninth, along with a walk-off hit in the 10th.