The Pirates embarrassed themselves in just about every phase of the game in a 7-4 loss to Milwaukee. That left them with a season-high six straight losses, which they’ve done three times. In their last 40 games, they’ve gone 11-29.
The Brewers even tried to help the visitors. In fact, Corbin Burnes had his shortest start of the year. In the first inning, after Adam Frazier and Phillip Evans started the game with singles, Burnes took Bryan Reynolds hard grounder off his foot, picked the ball up and threw it down the right field line. That let in two runs and one more scored later in the inning when Jacob Stallings hit into a double play.
In the second, the Pirates made it 4-0 when Erik Gonzalez and Ka’ai Tom led off with back-to-back triples. (That interrupted 0-for-11 and 1-for-22 streaks for Tom.) But in a sign of things to come, the Pirates stranded Tom when Chad Kuhl, Frazier and Evans all struck out.
The Pirates started giving it back in the bottom of the second. With two out, former Pirate Pablo Reyes lined a ball to short and Gonzalez made a fine kick save, clearing the ball into center. Reynolds flipped it back to the infield to nobody in particular, and nobody in particular wanted it so it rolled all the way to the backstop The two errors let Reyes go to third. Then Burnes did with two outs what the Pirates couldn’t do with nobody out and got the run home with an infield hit.
In the third, the Pirates’ defense gave away another run to make it 4-2. With Christian Yelich on first, Omar Narvaez blooped a single to right. While Gregory Polanco drifted listlessly after the ball and lobbed it back in, Yelich scored all the way from first.
In the fourth, with one out and one on, Kuhl walked two batters to load the bases and bring up Yelich. By then, Kuhl had walked four and was up to 92 pitches, only 50 of them strikes. But Derek Shelton decided to have another teaching moment. The result was a very instructive, bases-clearing double to put the Brewers up, 5-4.
Shelton then went to Clay Holmes, who’d blown up last night’s game. He blew up this one, too, giving up a double and a single to make the score 7-4.
But the Pirates weren’t done. In the sixth, they loaded the bases with nobody out. That finished Burnes and brought on Trevor Richards. He whiffed Polanco, Gonzalez and Tom to strand the runners.
With the loss safely in the bank, Chris Stratton, Chasen Shreve and unemployed closer Richard Rodriguez combined for four scoreless innings.
The Pirates finished 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Frazier had three hits, including his daily double. He probably dreams every night about what it’ll be like when he gets traded to a major league team.