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Pirates strand all the baserunners, lose 5-2

Mike McGinnis

The Pirates lost their second straight game Tuesday, falling 5-2 to the Brewers at Miller Park.

The Bucs got one on Neil Walker's solo homer in the first, but the Brewers got to Gerrit Cole in the third. Cole loaded the bases, then gave up a line-drive single to right by Jonathan Lucroy that brought home two runs. Rickie Weeks brought home another run in the sixth on a ground-ball single, and then Jared Hughes gave up two runs in the seventh.

The Pirates got one back in the eighth when Andrew McCutchen reached on an error, Jose Tabata singled, and Gaby Sanchez came to bat against lefty reliever Will Smith and smacked a double to left. Then Jordy Mercer grounded out to end the threat, however, and the Pirates couldn't get anything going against Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth.

Along the way, the Pirates went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, which really was the primary cause of their problems. They homered, hit three doubles and five singles, and had walked twice, and they still got nowhere. Jose Tabata, for example, singled three times but didn't score. In the second, he singled, then got gunned down by about eight feet after Jordy Mercer flailed and missed on an apparent hit-and-run. In the fourth, he struck out while Pedro Alvarez stole second base. In the sixth he singled, then got erased on Ike Davis' inning-ending double play. Then in the eighth, he singled again and got stranded.

Oh well. It would have been nice to take this one, because after Francisco Liriano tomorrow, the Pirates will send Wandy Rodriguez on Thursday, and who knows what they'll get there. Given that Thursday isn't particularly likely to go well, taking the first two against the division leaders would have been ideal.