Pittsburgh Pirates bats stay cold, team falls to Milwaukee Brewers 4-1


1. 4. 4. 76. Final

For the second night in a row the Pittsburgh Pirates received a quality start from their starting pitcher only to see it go to waste as the offense was never able to mount a serious threat against a pitcher making his MLB debut. Francisco Liriano went deep into the game and only ran into serious trouble in the eighth inning but ended up on the losing end last night. The loss drops the Pirates to 31-27 and represents their second loss in a row.

The Brewers struck first when Jason Rogers hit his second home run of the year in the top of the second inning. Starling Marte came within inches of catching the ball in the stands, but unfortunately was unable to haul it in with his glove. The Pirates were able to answer in the bottom half of the inning when Starling Marte added his twelfth home run of the 2015 campaign. Considering that Marte’s career high for home runs is thirteen and he hasn’t even played half the season yet, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to see him end the season with 20-25 home runs.

Liriano had a string of fourteen consecutive batters retired end in the seventh inning before he walked Ryan Braun. Carlos Gomez added a single to move Braun to third. Aramis Ramirez hit a soft roller near the pitcher’s mound that scored Braun and moved Gomez to second base. Rogers came through with a single that plated Gomez and all of the sudden the Brewers had a two-run lead late in the game.

Liriano was able to complete eight innings, surrendering a total of three runs on five hits and one walk. He was not as sharp as he has been at times this season, and Jared Hughes was brought in for the ninth inning. Hughes was not able to get out of the inning unscathed, giving up a solo home run to Ramirez, giving the Brewers a three-run lead with just a half inning to go. The big bats in the middle of the lineup were not able to get anything going against the Brewers’ formidable closer Francisco Rodriguez and went down in order to end the game.

What Stood Out

After coming home from their west coast road trip with a record of 7-3, hopes were high that Pirates would continue winning and gain ground on the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals. Last night’s game presented a wonderful chance to do just that: the team was facing a pitcher who was making his MLB debut and had been wild this season in the minors. To his credit, Taylor Jungmann never allowed the Pirates to string multiple hits together. One has to hope that these games are not the beginning of a losing streak. With the St. Louis Cardinals suffering multiple injuries to key players, the next few weeks will be prime time to make up some ground in the division.

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What’s Next

The three-game series will wrap up Wednesday night at 7:05 PM when Charlie Morton puts his perfect record on the line against Kyle Lohse. Lohse has given up at least five earned runs in his last three starts, so this presents a great opportunity for the Pittsburgh offense to get hot again and salvage at least one game in the series.

Next: Andrew McCutchen jumps three spots in latest NL All Star Update