Pittsburgh Pirates drop second straight game to Brewers, fall 8-5


Final. 5. 4. 8. 76

The Pittsburgh Pirates found out right before the game that Francisco Liriano would not be able to pitch due to neck tightness and Vance Worley was given the ball last night. He and the rest of the bullpen were not able to contain the Milwaukee Brewers in a 8-5 loss, giving the Pirates two consecutive losses to open the second half of the season. The loss puts the Pirates at 53-37 and now 4.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who won again last night.

The Pirates got to work right away against Jimmy Nelson. Gregory Polanco singled and then scored on Neil Walker‘s hit to Carlos Gomez in center field, who misplayed it and allowed the ball to roll to the wall. Walker scored on a wild pitch during Andrew McCutchen‘s at-bat. With McCutchen and Starling Marte on base, the Pirates were putting themselves in prime position to really start putting this game away. Jung Ho Kang hit an infield single to Jean Segura, but his throwing error allowed everyone to move up, giving the Pirates a quick three run lead before Worley even took the mound.

From the second inning on, the Brewers chipped away at the lead and eventually took the game over against the Pittsburgh bullpen. Worley gave up five runs (four earned) over his four innings of emergency work last night, two of which were from a Jonathan Lucroy home run. Deolis Guerra was called upon to work two innings in relief, and he surrendered two more runs, including a solo home run by Aramis Ramirez. Guerra handed the ball to Antonio Bastardo for the last two innings of the game and he gave up a towering blast to Khris Davis.

The Pirates were able to get two of the runs back in the seventh inning when Marte doubled in Polanco and Travis Ishikawa‘s single scored McCutchen. But just like the previous night, Francisco Rodriguez was too much for the Pirate hitters, sitting them down in order and securing the win for Milwaukee.

What Stood Out

Liriano’s scratch from last night’s game due to tightness in his neck stood out because it happened so close to game time. Hopefully the team will release some information today or Monday related to the extent of the injury. His next start should be next Thursday against Washington if the team decides he is healthy and wants to keep the starting pitchers in the same order as they are now.

More from Pirates News

The unexpected loss of Liriano last night put the Pirates on their heels right away since it would be bullpen arms for the whole game. The hitters gave them a nice lead immediately but the Brewers were able to score runs off of everyone who came into the game for Pittsburgh. The silver lining (I guess) is that only three pitchers were used so the others should be well rested for today’s contest.

What’s Next

Jeff Locke and Taylor Jungmann will take the mound in the final game of the series today at 2:10 PM. Locke has had issues pitching deep into games this season but showed encouraging signs in his eight inning start against Cleveland on July 4th. Jungmann has pitched very well for the Brewers so far this season, bringing a 2.15 ERA into his start. Pittsburgh Pirates’ fans will remember his debut back on June 9th when he limited opposing hitters to just one run over seven innings.

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