The Pittsburgh Pirates snapped their five-game losing streak on Monday night
Some days everything clicks perfectly for professional athletes. For Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher Steven Brault Monday was one of these days. The young lefty played a huge role in a 7-0 Pirate victory over the Milwaukee Brewers as he turned in the best start of his young Major League career.
With the win on Monday night the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 68-77 on the season. This victory also improved the Pirates to 9-5 against the Brewers this season.
The Pirates would quickly give Steven Brault a lead to work with. In the top of the first inning with one out and Adam Frazier on first base Andrew McCutchen hit his 24th home run of the season. This gave the Pirates an early 2-0 lead.
The Pirates added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning when Brault would hit his first career double. This was followed by Starling Marte‘s sixth home run of the season. Marte’s laser made the score 4-0 Pirates.
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While Monday night was the best start of Steven Brault’s young Major League career, it was the worst start of the young Major League career of Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff. Already trailing 4-0, the wheels came completely off for Woodruff in the top of the sixth inning and he was lifted.
Hughes got Sean Rodriguez to bounce back to the mound and Hughes fired to the plate to retire Bell. Then, Elias Diaz reached on a fielder’s choice and Jordy Mercer was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs for Brault.
Steven Brault’s fantastic night would continue as he lined a base hit to left field. This drove in Polanco and Diaz, extending the Pirate lead to 6-0.
Brandon Woodruff worked into the sixth inning on Monday night. He allowed five runs on seven hits, a walk, he allowed two home runs, and he struck out three.
Steven Brault pitched six fabulous shutout innings for the Pirates on Monday night. He retired the first 11 batters he faced, allowed just a single base hit, he walked one, and he struck out six. This was the best start of Brault’s young Major League career.
A.J. Schugel was called upon to replace Brault in the bottom of the seventh inning. Schugel continued to quietly put together an excellent season for the Pirates as he retired the Brewers in order.
The Pirate lead then grew in the top of the eighth inning. Facing Milwaukee reliever Jacob Barnes shortstop Jordy Mercer blasted his 14th home run of the season. This solo home run made the score 7-0 Pirates.
The bottom of the eighth inning belonged to right-handed reliever Daniel Hudson. After allowing a single to start the inning, Hudson induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Eric Sogard. On the play, Hudson and the Pirates were aided by a strong turn from Adam Frazier.
After Hudson issued a two-out walk, he was lifted for Dan Runzler. For Runzler, this was his first Major League appearance since 2012. Runzler proceeded to get Stephen Vogt to pop out to end the inning.
Felipe Rivero had not pitched in a game since last Tuesday. Due to this, Clint Hurdle was looking to get him some work on Monday night and had him pitch the bottom of the ninth inning. Rivero would do his thing retiring three of the four batters he faced to finish off the 7-0 Pirate victory.
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 7-0 victory on Monday night was one of the most complete games of the season from the Bucs. They got execellent starting pitching, played strong defense, scored plenty of runs, and the bullpen posted a zero.
Monday night was a possible glimpse into the future of the Pirate starting rotation. Steven Brault had a dominant year at Triple-A and was named the International League Pitcher of the Year. Hopefully, Tuesday night was a sign that he is starting to figure things out at the Major League level and that his success will begin to translate.
The second game of this series is scheduled for 7:40 PM on Tuesday. Game two on Tuesday night figures to feature a strong pitching matchup between Gerrit Cole and Brent Suter. The Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking for their third series victory of the season, and first at Miller Park, over the Brewers on Tuesday.