With the Pirates facing a possible four-game sweep at home by the detested Brewers, Tyler Anderson came through with a marvelous start. He threw seven shutout innings and the Pirates went on to blank Milwaukee, 2-0. In the process, they stopped both their own six-game losing streak and the Brewers’ 11-game winning streak.
After getting dominated by the Brewers’ lesser starters the last couple days, the Pirates didn’t figure to do much with Freddy Peralta, and they didn’t. But they did get an early lead from their #2 hitter, except it wasn’t the guy you’d expect. With Ke’Bryan Hayes off, Kevin Newman batted second and lined the first pitch he saw into the stands in the left field corner for his third home run of the year.
Peralta walked five, but the Pirates had only the one hit until there was one out in the sixth. Ben Gamel singled and Wilmer Difo grounded one over third that was perfectly aimed to hit the corner of the stands down the left field line. The ball died there and had to be run down, which gave Gamel time enough to score, making it 2-0. Difo, playing third, also had a highlight reel stop on a smash by Keston Hiura.
The Brewers did even less with Anderson. He allowed just three singles and two walks over seven innings, striking out six.
Milwaukee’s best chance against Anderson came in the second when a walk, single and hit batsman loaded the bases with one out to Peralta. Fortunately, Peralta tried to bunt and managed to bunt into a 3-2-4 double play, started on a good, quick flip by Phillip Evans. That’s not a scorecard entry you’re going to see a lot.
That was the last time the Brewers got a runner past first on Anderson. He went into the seventh on 85 pitches and had a quick, eight-pitch inning.
The Pirates didn’t threaten again after the sixth, but the bullpen held up. David Bednar, whom I’d like to see in the eighth inning more regularly, replaced Anderson and had a ten-pitch inning. Richard Rodriguez probably created some consternation by giving up a leadoff double in the ninth, but the next three batters flied out, which is classic Rodriguez. He picked up his 11th save.