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Pirates 9th Inning Rally Falls Just Short in 4-3 Loss to Brewers

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Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates found themselves playing their fourth game in their third different city in three days when they played the Brewers in Milwaukee on Friday night. The Brewers edged out the Pirates by a score of 4-3 as the Bucs fell a few feet short in the ninth.

Facing a two run deficit with runners on the corners, Daniel Vogelbach recorded a base hit to right-center, scoring Diego Castillo. Third base coach Mike Rabelo sent Kevin Newman, but the Brewers relay nabbed Newman in plenty of time to end the game.

In the second inning, a JT Brubaker 0-2 pitch caught too much of the plate, and Keston Hiura delivered an RBI-single with the bases loaded to push Milwaukee ahead 1-0. Brubaker prevented further damage by getting Jace Peterson to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

The Pirates took the lead in the fourth inning when Castillo blasted a two-run shot to left, his 10th homerun of the season.

Milwaukee quickly erased the Bucs lead when Kolten Wong delivered a run-scoring triple, plating Andrew McCutchen and tying the game. They took the lead later in the inning courtesy of a Jace Peterson single up the middle.

Willy Adames led off the seventh inning with a solo shot to extend the Brewers lead to 4-2.

On the mound for the Pirates. Brubaker was able to wiggle out of jams to keep the Bucs in it. He worked five innings, allowed three runs on five hits and struck out six. Walks were a big issue for the right-hander as he allowed five free passes in total. All three Brewers runs came directly after Brubaker walked the previous hitter. He threw an even 100 pitches.

The middle game of this weekend series will take place on Saturday at 4:10. Zach Thompson (3-6, 4.42 ERA) will make his second start since coming off the injured list. Brandon Woodruff (7-3, 3.95 ERA) gets the start for the Brewers.

Takeaways

  • House Of Horrors: The Pirates have struggled playing the Brewers in Milwaukee, and those struggles have been even more prevalent of late. With the loss, the Bucs have fallen to 5-21 in Milwaukee since the start of the 2019 season. The Bucs have dropped five straight at American Family Field and nine of their last 10 games at the Brewers home ballpark.
  • Loves Lefties and Road Trips: Castillo’s fourth inning homer was the fifth longball he’s recorded in his last eight road games. Eight of his 10 blasts this season have come while the Bucs have been visitors. The homer came off of Brewers left-handed starter Aaron Ashby, and Castillo has thrived against southpaws this season. Entering play, Castillo owned a .786 OPS against left-handed pitchers as opposed to a .456 mark against righties.
  • Stuck In A Slump: It’s been a rough stretch at the plate for Ke’Bryan Hayes. Since June 4, Hayes entered play with just a .180 batting average and a .490 OPS in 29 games, a span of 118 plate appearances. Over that stretch, Hayes only has five extra-base hits (two doubles, two tripled and one homer) and struck out nearly 30% of his plate appearances. His season OPS has dropped from .783 to .667 because of the prolonged struggles. Hayes did get on base once in this one after drawing a walk.

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