Five Brewers home runs, three by former Pirates, eventually did the Pirates in. Catcher Manny Pina delivered the knockout blow, a two-run go-ahead home run in the eighth inning for a 7-6 Milwaukee win on Wednesday afternoon, giving the Brewers a sweep of the two-game set at Miller Park.
Keon Broxton (Is harping on his giveaway beating a dead horse if it’s so relevant right now?) clubbed two homers, and Neil Walker hit one.
Gerrit Cole gave up three homers, one each to Broxton, Walker and Travis Shaw, giving Cole 26 homers allowed and a 16.8 percent home-run-per-fly-ball rate this season.
The Pirates outhit the Brewers, 11-8, but got just one extra-base hit, a Josh Bell triple.
The Bucs got out to a 4-0 lead, continuing to be a thorn in the side of Jimmy Nelson, who’s been excellent on the whole this year. Starling Marte singled, went to third when Nelson made a wild pick-off throw, and scored on Bell’s single in the first. Andrew McCutchen, Bell and David Freese hit back-to-back-to-back RBI singles in a three-run third inning.
Cole gave back three runs in the bottom of the third, though. Broxton led off with a solo home run and Walker smacked a two-run shot.
Nelson got on a bit of a roll, and the Pirates held on to a 4-3 lead into the sixth inning, then the teams exchanged single runs in each half-inning from the bottom of the sixth to the top of the eighth.
Shaw led off the bottom of the sixth with a tying solo homer, and Cole was done after six. He allowed just five hits, but four runs, striking out nine and walking two.
John Jaso reached on an error in the seventh and scored from second on a close, reviewed play on Josh Harrison’s single, putting the Pirates back up, 5-4. Broxton tied it backup with a solo homer off George Kontos in the bottom of the inning.
Bell tripled to right to open the eighth, and he scored on Adam Frazier’s single for a 6-5 lead. That disappeared when Pina hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the inning, and Corey Knebel pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to finally seal it.
Bell was 3-for-4,
Johnny Bench Chris Stewart 2-for-4. Marte finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
The Pirates have dropped four in a row going into a four-game series with the Cardinals that starts Thursday.