Once upon a time, the Milwaukee Brewers simply owned the Pittsburgh Pirates.
From 2006-12, the Brewers and Pirates played 109 times and Milwaukee took 76 of those contests, a .697 winning percentage. But as the Pirates emerged from their 20-year hibernation in 2013, they finally won a season series against the Crew, taking 12 of 19 meetings.
This year, things had returned to normal, with Milwaukee winning eight of the first 10 meetings between the teams.
The Pirates exacted some revenge on Friday night at PNC Park, scoring eight runs in the sixth inning on the way to a 15-5 rout.
Kyle Lohse (7-2) lost for the first time since April 1, as he was beaten up for eight runs on nine hits with a walk and a strikeout in five-plus innings. The outing got worse for Lohse because reliever Tyler Thornburg had trouble finding the strike zone and, when he did, the Pirates jumped all over it.
Thornburg gave up five of the eight runs in the sixth, allowing three hits and walking four—including two with the bases loaded—and needing 40 pitches to record three outs.
The Pirates (29-31) had taken a 3-0 lead through three innings, getting an RBI double from Andrew McCutchen and a run-scoring single from Russell Martin in the bottom of the first before McCutchen belted his seventh home run of the season in the third.
Milwaukee (36-26) got some of it back in the fourth. Jonathan Lucroy started things with a one-out single and went to third on Carlos Gomez’s double to right. Aramis Ramirez hit a little flare behind second that clanked off Neil Walker’s glove, with Lucroy scoring the Crew’s first run. Khris Davis followed with a sacrifice fly to right to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Jordy Mercer homered for Pittsburgh in the bottom of the fifth and Walker singled home a run to put the Pirates back up 5-2.
The Crew manufactured a run in the sixth. Gomez singled, moved up to second on Ramirez’s ground out and scored on Davis’ base hit to left.
Then came the carnage in the sixth—eight runs, six hits, 13 batters to the plate. The crushing blow was a bases-loaded double by Martin off the wall in center field that scored three.
With the miserable outing, Thornburg’s ERA jumped more than a run per nine innings, from 2.83 to 4.25. Lohse’s also rocketed up from 2.60 to 3.27.
Wei-Chung Wang got in some work, mopping up the final two innings while allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Brandon Cumpton (1-2) , coming off a start in which he allowed 11 runs to the Dodgers, pitched well enough to get his first win, allowing three runs in 5.1 innings.
The Brewers got two runs in the ninth off reliever Casey Sadler. Mark Reynolds led off with a single, went to third on Rickie Weeks’ double and scored on Jean Segura’s sacrifice fly. Ryan Braun grounded out, allowing Weeks to score.
Milwaukee did pound out 11 hits, with Gomez, Ramirez and Scooter Gennett each going 2-for-3. But it was no match for the 23 baserunners Pittsburgh had—16 hits, six walks and a hit batsman. Martin, in particular, had a huge night, going 3-for-3 with four RBI and reaching base in all five of his plate appearances.
The Brewers’ starters are going through a rough stretch. Over the last four games, the starting rotation has combined for an ERA of 9.43.
Tags: Milwaukee Brewers