The Brewers dropped a three-game series with the Pirates on Wednesday, losing the rubber match by a score of 5-4.
Milwaukee’s offense gave Freddy Peralta some early run support but otherwise went quiet most of the afternoon as the Pirates mounted a comeback.
Willy Adames struck early with a three-run home run in the first inning off Colin Selby, who started a bullpen game for the Pirates.
Staked to a 3-0 lead, Peralta gave one run back in the bottom of the first on a solo home run by Ke’Bryan Hayes but otherwise held serve through his first five innings.
The trouble started in the sixth. With one out, Peralta surrendered a base hit to Bryan Reynolds, walked Hayes and allowed an RBI double to Jack Suwinski.
Craig Counsell called on Trevor Megill to put out the fire and hold a 3-2 lead, but a single by Joshua Palacios tied the game.
Elvis Peguero and Hoby Milner combined to allow two more runs in the seventh on a walk and three hits, giving Pittsburgh a 5-3 lead.
The offense could not battle back and showed few signs of life after its three-run first inning.
Milwaukee looked to be mustering a potential rally in the eighth after consecutive one-out singles by Adames, Sal Frelick, and Mark Canha plated a run, but Rowdy Tellez grounded into a double play to end the threat.
The game ended on a controversial call. With Andruw Monasterio on first base representing the tying run and William Contreras in a full count, C.B. Bucknor called a third strike that appeared to be several inches off the outside corner.
If the Cubs hang on to defeat the Giants, the Brewers’ lead in the NL Central will be down to 1.5 games.
After an off day on Thursday, the Brewers continue their road trip by traveling to New York for a three-game weekend series with the Yankees to begin a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. Colin Rea is the probable starter for Friday night’s game, which begins at 6:05 p.m. CT.