On Wednesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates lost their fourth consecutive game
The Pittsburgh Pirates had been 51-11 when scoring 4+ runs in a game this season. Unfortunately, this is now 51-12. Despite grabbing an early 4-0 lead, a 5-4 lead, and a 6-5 lead the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday afternoon by a score of 7-6. With the loss, the Bucs fall to 58-62 on the season.
With the loss, the Pirates finished their road trip at 2-5 and with four consecutive losses. It also drops them to 8-5 against the Brewers this season, and 2-4 at Miller Park. They are now 5 games out of first place in the National League Central, pending the outcome of tonight’s game between the Cubs and Reds.
Starling Marte singled to start the game and advanced to third base on a Jimmy Nelson throwing error. However, after Nelson got a pair of outs it appeared Marte would be stranded at third base. Luckily for the Pirates, Josh Bell delivered a base hit to score Marte and give the Bucs an early 1-0 lead.
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In the top of the 3rd inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates would add to their lead. Their runs in the 3rd inning came via a two out rally.
Starling Marte singled with two outs, stole second base, and then Josh Harrison walked. Andrew McCutchen then delivered a RBI single to score Marte and make it 2-0 Pirates. Josh Bell then collected his second RBI of the game to score Harrison, and then David Freese drove in McCutchen. This gave the Bucs a 4-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Brewers would get three of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Ex-Pirate Keon Broxton led off the inning with his 18th home run of the season to cut the Pirate lead to 3-1. Then after Eric Sogard drew a walk, another ex-Pirate, Neil Walker, hit his first Brewer home run. This made the score 4-3 Pirates after 3 innings of play.
The score would remain 4-3 until the bottom of the 6th inning. Travis Shaw led off the inning with his 26th home run of the season. This tied the game at 4.
Gerrit Cole pitched 6 innings for the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon. He allowed just 5 hits, walked just a pair, and struck out 9. However, he allowed a trio of home runs and 4 runs
The Pirates would regain the lead in the top of the 7th.
Chris Stewart singled with one out and then pinch-hitter John Jaso reached on an error. Then with two outs, Josh Harrison singled off ex-Pirate Jared Hughes to score Jaso who just barely beat Hernan Perez‘s throw home and give the Pirates a 5-4 lead.
Jimmy Nelson wound up pitching 6 1/3 innings for the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon. He allowed 5 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits, a walk, and 7 strikeouts.
George Kontos took over for the Pirates in the bottom of the 7th inning. Entering Wednesday’s game he had every batter he had faced since being traded to Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, that streak would end on Wednesday.
Keon Broxton led off the bottom of the 7th inning with his second home run of the game and 19th of the season. This tied the game at 5. Kontos would go on to strike out the side after allowing the game tying home run to Broxton.
Josh Bell hit his team-leading 6th triple to start the top of the 8th inning. New Milwaukee pitcher Anthony Swarzak then struck out David Freese looking for the first out of the inning. Adam Frazier then singled home Bell to make it 6-5 Pirates.
It was then Juan Nicasio‘s job to preserve the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning. With 1 out, Jose Aguilar reached on an infield hit on a play Jordy Mercer should have made. Then, Manny Pina smacked a go-ahead two-run home run off Nicasio to make it 7-6 Brewers.
With two outs in the inning, the Pirates orchestrated a double switch. Felipe Rivero took over on the mound, while Sean Rodriguez entered the game to play right field. Rivero would strikeout Keon Broxton to end the inning.
Corey Knebel entered in the top of the 9th looking to close the game out for the Brewers. Knebel would retire the Pirates in order to end the game, handing the Pirates a 7-6 defeat to finish their road trip with four consecutive losses.
Wednesday’s loss was a tough pill to swallow for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a game they led early and often, but they continued to give it back to the Brewers. Gerrit Cole could not hold a lead and the bullpen melted down in more than one inning.
On Thursday night the Pittsburgh Pirates start a four game series at PNC Park against the St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch on Thursday night is scheduled for 7:05. Jameson Taillon will start for the Pirates, while the Cardinals plan to go with veteran Adam Wainwright.