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Pittsburgh Pirates’ bats go cold in 3-1 loss

Milwaukee Brewers’ pitching proves too tough on frigid night at PNC Park

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers parlayed three hits and an error into two seventh-inning runs, and that was enough to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-1, Wednesday night at a chilly PNC Park.

Pitching dominated the early going, as neither team managed a hit through the first five innings – the first time that had happened in a game involving the Pirates since at least 1974.

Pirates’ lefty Dillon Peters and right-hander Bryse Wilson switched roles Wednesday, with Peters getting the start and going two-plus innings before giving way to Wilson.

Peters exited after walking the leadoff hitter in the third, but Wilson retired the next three batters in order and did not allow a hit until Kolten Wong’s one-out double in the sixth.

The weather likely a lot to do with the lack of offense, as the game-time temperature was just 40 degrees.

Milwaukee starter Aaron Ashby carried a no-hitter into the sixth but lost it when he gave up a base hit to the slumping Bryan Reynolds after he walked leadoff batter Diego Castillo.

The Pirates pushed across a run when Ke’Bryan Hayes followed by grounding into a double play.

Wil Crowe came on in the seventh in relief of Wilson, who allowed just the one hit in four innings. Crow’s first two pitches resulted in base hits by Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe, and Rowdy Tellez then grounded one under the glove of Pirates first baseman Yoshi Tsutsugo for an error, allowing the tying run to score.

Tyrone Taylor followed with a base hit to bring home Renfroe with what proved to be the winning run. Milwaukee tacked on another run in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk by reliever Sam Howard.

The Pirates threatened in the ninth against Brewers closer Josh Hader when Hayes drew a leadoff walk and Michael Chavis also reached on a walk sandwiched around a Daniel Vogebach strikeout. But Hader rallied to fan both Tsutsugo and Roberto Perez to end it.

Prior to the game, the Pirates announced that shortstop Kevin Newman would be out three to five weeks due to a groin strain, and he was placed on the 10-day injured list.

Castillo started a shortstop, but immediately speculation centered on the possibility of the Pirates recalling prospect Oneil Cruz. But no move was made involving Cruz, who is hitting just .190 with a .588 OPS in 63 at-bats. Cruz has one home run and eight RBIs.