Gerrit Cole walked one and struck out ten in six innings, but the Brewers pushed across four runs in the third inning, giving all the margin they needed to prevail over the Pirates’ lifeless offense.
Milwaukee had taken a 1-0 lead in the second on Eric Thames solo homer to right, the 28th allowed by Cole this year, but Pittsburgh bounced back with a pair in the third, on RBIs on a grounder by Jordy Mercer and a single by Jordan Luplow, to take a short-lived 2-1 lead.
Keon Broxton and Brett Phillips, who pinch-hit for the Brewers starter after only three innings pitched, led off the bottom of the third with consecutive singles, followed by a four-pitch walk to Eric Sogard to load the bases with no one out. Neil Walker was called out on strikes and it looked like Cole might escape the inning after Ryan Braun grounded into a force which plated the tying run, but it was at that point that the game was lost in six pitches. Braun was allowed to take second base uncontested after which Travis Shaw was waved down to first base on an intentional walk, again loading the bases. Then, on a 2-1 count, Domingo Santana lined a double that landed on the left-field chalk, driving home two to give Milwaukee a 4-2 lead they would never relinquish. The Brewers added one more insurance run when Thames then grounded a ball into short right that was fielded by second baseman Sean Rodriguez, who was playing well into the grass on a shift. Thames beat the throw to first, but Santana, who was jogging into home plate, was tagged for the third out on the relay from first baseman Jose Osuna.
On Wednesday, Tyler Glasnow will make his first start since returning from Triple-A, where he went 9-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 15 starts, including 11 walks and 76 strikeouts in his last 7 regular season games and a playoff start, covering 50 innings.