PITTSBURGH – Rookie Nick Gonzales homered and doubled but the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 on Sunday at PNC Park.
Gonzales’ two-run home run to dead center field put the Pirates ahead 2-0 in the second inning but those were the only runs they managed off starter Colin Rea (5-4) in 6.2 innings.
The Brewers went ahead for good 3-2 on William Contreras’ three-run homer in the third off Rich Hill (7-8).
Josh Palacios also had two hits for the Pirates (39-44), who have dropped back-to-back games following a four-game winning streak. The Brewers (45-39) have won six of their last eight games and remained tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the National League Central lead.
The Pirates put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the fifth trailing 3-2. However, the rally fizzled when Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen grounded out to end the inning.
STAR OF THE GAME
Contreras had the big blow and finished with two hits.
STAT OF INTEREST
McCutchen’s season-best 20-game on base streak ended as he went 0 for 4.
–Hill pitched five innings and allowed three runs and three hits while striking out eight and walking two. He threw 102 pitches, 62 for strikes.
–Reynolds (lower back inflammation) was activated from the 10-day injured list and went 0 for 4. Infielder/outfielder Ji Hwan Bae (left ankle sprain) was placed on the 10-day IL after being injured in Saturday’s loss to the Brewers.
–Austin Hedges singled in the seventh inning after going 2 for 22 in his previous 11 games.
–Infielder Mark Mathias was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners after the Pirates designated him for assignment earlier in the week.
–The Pirates play their next 24 games outside of the NL Central before visiting the Brewers in a four-game series from Aug. 3-6 in Milwaukee.
The Pirates face the Los Angeles Dodgers at 10:10 p.m. Monday to open a four-game series as well as a seven-game road trip that leads into the All-Star break. Mitch Keller (9-3, 3.34) will pitch for the Pirates while the Dodgers are undecided on a starter.
It is three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw’s turn to pitch in the Dodgers’ rotation, but he is questionable with a sore shoulder.