Saturday afternoon’s matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers started on a high note for the Pirates. They were able to plate four runs in the first two innings, three of which came in the first inning. A slow Brewer uprising was to take place, however, ultimately culminating in an explosion of runs in the middle innings.
Chad Kuhl took to the bump for the Pirates in his third start since returning from the injured list. As mentioned, he was spotted three runs before heading out to the mound at American Life Field.
To kick things off, Adam Frazier singled. Then Phillip Evans followed suit and tallied a single of his own on a ball with a 71.1 mph exit velocity and an xBA of .100, according to Baseball Savant. Thanks to an error during Bryan Reynolds plate appearance, two runs scored. A Jacob Stallings double play would score an additional run.
Kuhl was looking to navigate through the first inning unscathed after being gifted some runs in the top half of the frame. A strikeout to begin the inning, but then things deteriorated some, as Kuhl issued a pair of walks. Fortunately, a forceout and a groundout ended the inning.
The story of the afternoon, though, isn’t low expected batting average balls yielding base hits or a clumsily navigated first inning. It’s the five run fourth the Brewers stapled to the scoreboard.
Milwaukee took the lead when Christian Yelich cleared the bases with a double. Willy Adames would double and Omar Narvaez would single, with each man driving in a run, making it 7-4.
Despite being spotted some gift runs in inning one, Kuhl was unable to find effectiveness in Saturday’s outing. He ultimately contributed only 3.1 innings, allowing six runs (five earned), on five hits and four walks — an outing not very helpful in winning games. Clay Holmes would give up a run, as well.
The Pirates totaled 10 hits, two more than the Brewers and walked four times, but couldn’t scratch off enough runs to pick up a win.
The Pirates, now 23-40, failed once again to claw their way into the win column, despite Milwaukee’s attempt to compromise themselves early. The loss marks Pittsburgh’s sixth consecutive dropped ballgame.
This series concludes tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 2:10 pm. The Pirates will look to avoid the sweep before heading east to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Nationals in a three game, midweek series. A short five game homestand where the Pirates will host the Cleveland Indians for three and Chicago White Sox for two will commence before Pittsburgh hits the road again to end the month.