Brewers: Zach Davies impresses early in debut, Crew beats Pirates


Zach Davies breezed through the first three innings of his major-league debut Wednesday night, holding the Pittsburgh Pirates hitless.

The Milwaukee Brewers’ young right-hander discovered the big-league hitters learn fast, however.

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He was touched up for a three-run homer by former Brewer Aramis Ramirez in the fourth inning and was lifted after getting into more trouble in the fifth.

The Brewers had the bats working for the second straight night, however, and cruised to a 9-4 victory.

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Davies worked 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts, but still the reviews were more good than bad.

“I told him, ‘I want you to watch video of Shaun Marcum in 2011 because [you] could be a guy like that,’” catcher Jonathan Lucroy told “Because his changeup is so good, he’s a righty and he works fast. That could definitely be a guy that he can mold himself after, for sure, pitching-wise.”

The Pirates (79-52) started to disrupt Davies’ timing, stepping out of the box to slow the pace of the youngster.

“The umpire was getting tired of it,” Lucroy said. “He’s just ready to pitch. That’s all part of disrupting timing from a hitter’s standpoint and a pitcher’s standpoint, you want to disrupt their timing and it makes him successful. I’m sure we’ll probably see it a little bit, but hopefully umpires will stop that.”

Milwaukee (57-75) never trailed, getting to left-hander Jeff Locke (7-9) early and often.

Jean Segura led off the bottom of the first with a double to left and scored on Lucroy’s single up the middle. One out later, Khris Davis lined a double into the gap to score Luc.

The Brewers made it 3-0 in the third. Ryan Braun and Davis hit back-to-back singles with two outs and Adam Lind lined a single to left to bring in the run.

Ramirez homered after Starling Marte led off the top of the fourth with a double and Andrew McCutchen worked a walk to tie the game at 3-3.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Crew chased Locke with another two-out rally. Davies started it was a single to left and went to third on Segura’s second double of the night. Lucroy grounded another single up the middle to give Milwaukee a 5-3 lead and send Locke to the locker room.

In the fifth, Davies gave up singles to Jaff Decker and Marte and manager Craig Counsell summoned right-hander Corey Knebel from the bullpen. He struck out McCutchen before surrendering a ground-rule double to Ramirez that got Pittsburgh back to within 5-4.

Lind clubbed his 18th homer of the season with one out in the bottom of the fifth off reliever Joe Blanton to make it 6-4.

In the seventh, Braun singled and reached second on a throwing error by shortstop Jung Ho Kang. With two outs, Lind was intentionally walked and Domingo Santana reached on an infield single to load the bases.

Scooter Gennett came on to pinch-hit for Hernan Perez against right-hander Arquimedes Caminero and lined a single to right to score Braun and Lind.

In the eighth, Jason Rogers drew a walk batting for the pitcher and Segura singled before Braun drove in Rogers with a base hit to right off lefty Rob Scahill.

Knebel allowed a hit and struck out one in getting the last two outs of the fifth, though he did allow an inherited runner to score. Cesar Jimenez worked a scoreless sixth, giving up a hit, and Jeremy Jeffress (4-0) was awarded the win with two perfect innings.

Tyler Thornburg worked a 1-2-3 ninth to close it out in a non-save situation.

The Brewers pounded out 15 hits off six Pirates pitchers. Segura and Braun each went 3-for-5, Davis and Lind were 2-for-4 and Lucroy went 2-for-5.

Ramirez will be honored before tonight’s series finale, set for 6:20 p.m. The veteran was traded to the Pirates by the Brewers on July 23 and is retiring at the end of the season. Thursday will mark his final visit to Miller Park as a player.

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  • Right-hander Taylor Jungmann (8-5, 2.48 ERA) will go for the sweep against left-hander Francisco Liriano (9-6, 3.28).

    It will be Jungmann’s third look at the Pirates. He is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.857 WHIP in 14 innings with 10 strikeouts. He got the win in his last start on Friday, working six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out five.

    Liriano is 6-5 in 13 career starts and one relief appearance against Milwaukee, with a 4.06 ERA and 1.274 WHIP in 75.1 innings. He’s struck out 84 in that span.

    He lost his only start against the Brewers this season, allowing three runs on five hits in eight innings on June 9 at PNC Park, walking one and striking out six in a 4-1 win by the Crew.

    He took a no-decision Friday, allowing three runs on four hits in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts in a game in which Pittsburgh beat the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park, 5-3.

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