Pittsburgh Pirates Beat Brewers, Continue to Pull Closer to First Place
The Pittsburgh Pirates have now won 3 games in a row
On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 4-1 on their vital 7 game homestand. This came courtesy of a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. With the win, the Pirates are now 46-48 on the season and 5 games behind the Brew Crew for first place in the National League Central.
Not only were the Bucs victorious on Tuesday night, Starling Marte returned from his 80 game suspension and played a big role in the victory. Marte contributed both offensively and defensively, and helped the Pirates pull to 5 games out of first place.
Ivan Nova started for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. He struggled throughout the night, but he did a very good job of keeping the Brewers in check and giving the Pirates a chance to win Tuesday night’s game.
In the top of the 2nd inning, the Brewers had runners on second and third with no one out. Nova, however, would pitch his way out of it.
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First, he got Manny Pina to pop out to shortstop. Then, Nova struck out Keon Broxton for the second out of the inning. After intentionally walking Orlando Arcia to get to pitcher Junior Guerra, Nova would strike out Guerra to end the inning.
Ivan Nova could not work the same magic in the top of the 3rd inning, though.
Domingo Santana and Eric Thames hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Luckily for Nova, Thames’ ball hit Santana so he was ruled out. After allowing a base hit to Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw blasted his 21st home run of the season to make it 3-0 Brewers.
Junior Guerra stymied the Pirates through the first 5 innings of the game. In his first start back from the disabled list, the lone base runner Guerra allowed through 5 innings was a single by Starling Marte who Guerra picked off at second base. However, all of this would change in the bottom of the 6th inning.
Francisco Cervelli hit his 5th home run of the season to start the bottom of the 5th inning to cut the Milwaukee lead to 3-1. With 2 outs, Starling Marte drew a walk. His walk was followed by a game tying 2-run home run from Josh Harrison. Harrison’s 11th home run of the season tied the game at 3 and brought Guerra’s night to an end.
In 5 2/3 innings pitched Junior Guerra allowed just 3 hits. However, 2 of these hits were home runs. Those home runs paired with a walk led to Guerra allowing 3 runs in his 5 2/3 innings pitched.
Oliver Drake took over for Guerra and promptly walked Andrew McCutchen. After allowing a single to Josh Bell, David Freese hit a ground ball single to right field to score McCutchen. This made the score 4-3 Pirates after 6 innings of play.
Ivan Nova pitched 6 innings and allowed 10 hits and a home run. However, he walked just 1 batter, struck out 6, and held the Brewers to just 3 runs. Once again, a tip of the cap to Nova for keeping the Bucs in the game when he had far from his best stuff.
A.J. Schugel pitched the top of the 7th inning for the Pirates. Despite allowing an infield hit, Schugel posted a zero. This included striking out Ryan Braun to end the inning.
With neither Juan Nicasio nor Tony Watson available on Tuesday night, Clint Hurdle turned to Daniel Hudson in the top of the 8th inning.
To start the inning, Hudson struck out Travis Shaw looking. This led to Shaw and Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell being ejected. Hudson then got a pair of ground ball outs to end the inning. The second of which featured a great play by Jordy Mercer ranging far into the hole at shortstop, while Josh Bell made an excellent pick at first base on the other end.
The 9th inning belonged to god, aka Felipe Rivero. On Tuesday night, he would actually look human.
To start the inning, Rivero blew Keon Broxton away with a 101 mile per hour fastball. Orlando Arcia then reached on an infield hit that did not stick in Rivero’s glove. This was a ball that Rivero should have let go, as it would have been a routine ground ball to Josh Harrison at second base.
Felipe Rivero then allowed a single to pinch-hitter Jeff Bandy. This marked just the 4th time in 47 games this season that Rivero allowed multiple hits in the same inning. After this, Rivero struck out Domingo Santana. He then whiffed Eric Thames to end the inning.
Tuesday night was the second night in a row that the Pirates picked up a come from behind victory over the first place Brewers. It was an electric night at PNC Park, and the Pirates are slowly playing themselves into a pennant race.
The third game of this series is at 7:05 tomorrow night from PNC Park. Gerrit Cole will be looking to pitch the Pittsburgh Pirates to a series victory. Meanwhile, the Brewers will send the struggling Zack Davies to the mound. This pitching matchup, on paper at least, favors the Bucs greatly.