It looked like Monday night’s game might be a pitcher’s duel as Roansy Contreras and Corbin Burnes took the mound at PNC Park. While Burnes held up his end of the bargain, Contreras struggled and wasn’t able to escape the second inning. It didn’t get any better from there as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Pirates 19-2.
The Brewers blasted three homers as part of their seven-run second inning. Luis Urias hit a two-run shot into the bushes in center. Later in the inning, Keston Hiura crushed a pitch left over the plate into the bleachers in left-center field. Rowdy Tellez capped off the inning with a three-run homer to right.
The final homer to Tellez is what knocked Contreras out of the ball game. It was the worst start of the young right-hander’s career as he was tagged with seven earned runs over 1.2 innings of work.
Tellez wasn’t done as he recorded a two-RBI double to right in the fourth inning, giving him five RBIs on the night.
The Brewers put up an eight-spot in the eighth inning off of Cam Vieaux. Willy Adames hit a grand slam to center, pushing them ahead 15-1. Mike Brousseau drove in a pair with a double. All eight runs came before the Pirates could record an out in the inning. Defensively, the Bucs made a couple miscues in the inning.
Josh VanMeter pitched the ninth inning for the Pirates and (only) allowed a pair of runs.
Bligh Madris got the Pirates first hit of the game with one out in the sixth inning as he roped a double to centerfield. The Pirates later scored in the inning when Ke’Bryan Hayes scored on a wild pitch from Burnes.
Other than that, Burnes shut down the Pirates across six innings. The Madris double was the only hit he surrendered and struck out five. He did walk four batters, but the traffic on the bases didn’t seem to phase him.
Oneil Cruz recorded a double in the seventh inning, his fourth double since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Cruz later added an RBI in the eighth after bouncing into a fielder’s choice.
The Bucs will look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon with a 4:05 scheduled first pitch.
- Growing Pains: Obviously Contreras will be disappointed in his outing, and rightfully so. But these things happen with young pitchers. No rookie arm will go out and dominate every start. It’s starting to seem like the league is starting to adjust to Contreras, so he will have to work with pitching coach Oscar Marin and the rest of the Bucs coaching staff to adjust back accordingly. It will be interesting to see how he responds his next time out.
- The Pirate Killer: Hiura’s homerun in the second inning was his 12th career long ball against the Pirates, by far the most he has had against any opponent. His second-most against any one team is seven against the Cincinnati Reds. Over a quarter of his homers in his career have come against Pittsburgh (12 out of 43). Hiura has now driven in 30 runs against the Bucs in his career, again the most against any team in the league by a wide margin (second most: 19 against the Cardinals.)
- No Sweat: For better or worse, at least Pirates fans didn’t have to sweat this one out. The Pirates last eight games were all decided by two runs or less, with the Bucs going 3-5 over that span. In the month of June as whole, the Pirates had 21 games that were decided by two runs or less. Pittsburgh was victorious in just seven of those 21 contests.