For the second time in three outings, Milwaukee Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez has been human.
After running off 15 consecutive saves without allowing a run, Rodriguez blew a save Sunday against the New York Yankees when he allowed a ninth-inning, game-tying homer.
On Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park, Rodriguez came into a tie game in the ninth inning and wound up taking a loss.
The Pirates hung three runs up in the ninth off Rodriguez (1-1) to beat the Crew 4-1, evening the series between the National League Central rivals at a game apiece.
The rough outing negated another solid start from second-year right-hander Wily Peralta, who allowed a run on five hits in seven strong innings. He walked just one and struck out four, lowering his ERA to 2.05.
But Bucs’ lefty Francisco Liriano matched Peralta for six innings, allowing a run on four hits with seven strikeouts.
Milwaukee (25-15) countered in the fifth.
Khris Davis lined a double to left field and moved up when Jean Segura’s grounder was botched by Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis. Jeff Bianchi, getting the start at third base against the left-hander, with Mark Reynolds playing at first base, lofted a fly ball to left field deep enough to score Davis to tie the game.
The Brewers had a chance in the seventh off reliever Bryan Morris. Davis walked and moved up on a sacrifice by Segura. Bianchi bounced out to second to advance Davis to third and Scooter Gennett came up to hit for Peralta.
The Pirates walked Gennett intentionally, bringing up Elian Herrera, who grounded to shortstop to end the threat.
Will Smith danced into and out of danger in the eighth, allowing back-to-back two-out singles to Neal Walker and McCutchen to put runners at first and third, but Smith struck out Alvarez on three straight sliders to escape.
With Rodriguez in the game in the ninth, Davis grounded a single to right with one away. Jordy Mercer singled up the middle and Chris Stewart lined a single to center, scoring pinch-runner Clint Barmes and putting runners on second and third after the throw to the plate was late.
Starling Marte followed by hammering a hanging curve off the center-field wall on a hop, giving Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead.