The Pirates got towering dingerz from their two struggling sluggers and effective pitching from a bunch of folks. The result was a 5-1 win over the Brewers.
Steven Brault had a pretty good start, although it lasted only three innings. He threw a lot of pitches, but it wasn’t one of his starts where strikes are as rare as toilet paper in a pandemic. He threw 44 in 68 pitches. There wasn’t any terrible trouble or anything. Brault had to strand a couple of runners in the first. In the second, he got past a J.T. Riddle error that let the leadoff batter reach. (Riddle had a less-than-stellar day at third and went 0-for-4, but it’s not like the Pirates have anybody in the organization who can play the position.)
In the third, a single and an error by Josh Bell put the first two batters on. Brault almost got out of that, but a two-out single by Keston Hiura drove in one run. It was puzzling to see him exit after that inning, with a line of three hits, one walk, five strikeouts and one unearned run.
The Pirates did more damage than you’d expect against Brandon Woodruff. Gregory Polanco put them up in the second with his fifth home run of the year. After Milwaukee tied the game with the help of his error, Bell put the Pirates back up, 3-1, with a long blast to right-center following a single by Kevin Newman. That came in the fourth and was Bell’s fourth home run. In the fifth, following two-out walks to Erik Gonzalez and Adam Frazier, Newman singled to score Gonzalez. The Brewers challenged the run, claiming Frazier was thrown out at third before Gonzalez crossed the plate, but the call stood.
Kyle Crick followed Brault, making his first appearance after missing over a month due to a shoulder strain. He got through an inning on a dozen pitches, with just a single allowed. Nick Tropeano managed two and two-thirds innings without looking especially good. He threw only 20 of 43 pitches for strikes. Tropeano left after he gave up a walk and a hit batsman with two outs in the seventh.
Geoff Hartlieb replaced Tropeano and hit the first batter he saw to load the bases. He came back, though, to fan Justin Smoak. Hartlieb, who really does seem to be making some progress, stayed on for the eighth. He walked one batter, but struck out the last two.
The Pirates picked up an added run in the seventh on a two-out, RBI single by Adam Frazier, accounting for the 5-1 final. Richard Rodriguez gave up a walk in the ninth, but that was all. The Pirates are now in double figures in wins, at 10-21.