Domingo Santana’s two out, two run opposite field homer off Pirates’ reliever Daniel Hudson, just inside the foul pole, gave the Brewers a come from behind 4-3 victory Wednesday night at Miller Field in Milwaukee.
Pirates’ starter Trevor Williams had pitched a strong game through six, allowing a single run on four hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts.
The Pirates scored first in the top of the third on back-to-back doubles by Adam Frazier, who had three hits in the game, and Josh Harrison, who had two.
The Brewers immediately tied the game at one in the bottom of the third. Orlando Arcia led off with a weak ground single to short left field, advanced to second on the pitcher Guerra’s sac bunt, then scored with two outs when Santana ground sharply into left, beating the throw from Frazier.
Milwaukee threatened again in the fourth. Hernan Perez doubled with one out and stole third as Keon Broxton drew ball four. After Broxton stole second, Arcia was intentionally walked to load the bases, but the pitcher Guerra lined out to Andrew McCutchen in deep left center field to end the inning.
The Pirates went up 2-1 in the fifth on doubles by Frazier’s (his second of the game) and John Jaso. An inning later they extended the lead to 3-1 when Josh Bell lined his 13th homer to deep right-center.
Williams entered the seventh having thrown only 89 pitches, but his night was over when Broxton lined a single to left and Arcia doubled inside the bag at third. Manager Clint Hurdle, playing the platoon, summoned former left-handed throwing closer Tony Watson from the pen, who proceed to retire the next two batters (both left-handed), pinch-hitter Eric Thames on an RBI grounder and Eric Sogard on a K. Satisfied with that, Hurdle chose right-hander Daniel to face the right handed batting Santana, who took a 2-0, 96 mph fastball off the outside part of the plate into the right field seats, giving the Brewers their first lead of the series.
Home plate umpire Jerry Layne seemed to want it to stay that way. Josh Bell led off the top of the eighth against hard throwing reliever Jacob Barnes, taking a 3-2 pitch that was 2.6 inches off the low-outside corner, but Layne rang Bell up for strike three. McCutchen struck out swing but Jorder Mercer singled to give the Pirates life. Gregory Polanco pinch-hit for Chris Stewart, but Layne proceeded to call two more low and away pitches to left-handed batters as strikes. Polanco then waved at a ball in the dirt to end the inning. Barnes struck out three of four batters while throwing three balls in the strike zone the whole inning.
The Pirates put up a fight in the ninth. Adam Frazier slapped a single to left with one out and went to second on a wild pitch, but on the ninth pitch he faced Josh Harrison struck out on a 96 mph fastball away. John Jaso then ground a 2-2 pitch up the middle, but Arcia ranged far behind the bag, grabbed the ball and made a spin throw to first that was scooped by Thames, getting the slow footed Jaso by half a step to end the game.
Thursday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. Eastern both team’s best starters in terms of ERA, Ivan Nova (7-4, 2.91) for the Pirates and Chase Anderson (5-2, 2.92) will face off as the Pirates try to take three of four.