Pittsburgh Pirates pour it on late against Milwaukee Brewers
By Jake Misener
Six-run ninth propels Pirates to 10-2 win
Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker combined for seven RBI and a pair of home runs on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Pirates topped the Milwaukee Brewers 10-2 in the series finale at Miller Park.
Leading by two heading into the ninth, Pittsburgh (2-4) got things going when former Brewer Corey Hart singled to score Sean Rodriguez. Shortstop Jordy Mercer followed with a RBI knock of his own to push it to 6-2 before McCutchen drove in his fourth run of the game with a base hit. Walker capped off the frame with a three-run blast, his first homer of the season, extending the lead to 10-2.
Pirates right-hander Casey Sadler was solid in his season debut, allowing just two earned runs on four hits – striking out five – outdeuling Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse. Lohse (0-2, 11.17) allowed four earned in 6 1/3 innings – on eight hits, striking out five.
Gregory Polanco opened the scoring in the top of the third with an RBI single before Carlos Gomez homered to center, propelling the Brewers ahead 2-1. The score remained there until the top of the sixth when McCutchen launched his second homer of the season, a three-run blast that completely changed the dynamic of the game.
Polanco, Mercer and McCutchen all tallied a pair of base hits in the win over Milwaukee (1-5) – while Tony Sanchez went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs.
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Jared Hughes, Arquimedes Caminero, Tony Watson and Radhames Liz all pitched scoreless innings in relief of Sadler – allowing just one hit down the stretch.
What Stood Out:
When this team’s offense is firing on all cylinders, there’s no telling how far the Pirates will go this year. McCutchen bouncing back after missing a day with a sore knee is a big positive for the club.
With two homers in the team’s first six games, the Pirates center fielder seems to be gelling early on, although his .190 average leaves something to be desired. Hopefully, Sunday’s performance will help him move things in the right direction.
Pittsburgh (2-4) will welcome the red-hot and still-undefeated Detroit Tigers (6-0) to PNC Park on Monday afternoon for Opening Day at PNC Park.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will take on Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is slated for 12:35 p.m. CT.