Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense rises as team beats Milwaukee Brewers 6-3
By Tyler Waite
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense finally came to life as the team beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 in the teams’ first meeting at PNC Park this season. Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte, and Sean Rodriguez all had multi-hit nights while Vance Worley allowed two runs over six innings while striking out six. Worley had a nice bounce-back start after surrendering six earned runs over 6.1 innings in a 6-0 loss to the Brewers back on April 11th.
Milwaukee took an early 1-0 lead on a Gerardo Parra groundout and the Pirates waited until the fifth inning to claim a lead of their own on a Sean Rodriguez single into left field. Rodriguez got the start at second after manager Clint Hurdle decided to give Neil Walker the day off. Rodriguez finished 2-3 on the day.
Milwaukee threatened in the top of the sixth when Parra doubled to deep right, scoring Khris Davis from first to pull the Brewers within one. But Milwaukee would not reclaim their early lead as the Pirates plated three more in the eighth, including two on a 450+ foot home run from Marte.
What Stood Out
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense finally came to life after suffering through 23 straight innings without scoring a run. Starling Marte helped contribute to that cause with a two hit night, including two RBIs on a big home run in the eighth inning. Marte pulled his average up from .100 to .152 on the year as he hopes to end his early season slump.
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The Pirate lineup was different than one of the usual ones Hurdle normally submits. With Walker getting the off day, Hurdle decided to bat Andrew McCutchen in the cleanup role, move Polanco to third in the lineup, and jump Francisco Cervelli to second. Needless to say, this may have energized the team, as McCutchen and Polanco combined for four hits and Cervelli scored a run.
Mark Melancon came in and earned the save with only one pitch in the ninth after Antonio Bastardo was pulled. Melancon’s had velocity issues early this season and has already given up three runs on the year, so the save may have been a mental victory for him.
In the second game of this three game weekend series, the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-6) send out Jeff Locke (1-0) Saturday night. He’ll be opposed by the Milwaukee Brewer’s (2-8) Kyle Lohse (0-2), who Pittsburgh has seen plenty of in his career. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 PM start time.