The Pirates had one of their stranger wins of the year, beating Milwaukee, 8-5, in ten innings. Brewer starter Adrian Houser left with a no-hitter still alive, Max Kranick didn’t have a good start, and the offense showed its expertise at missing scoring chances. But in the end the Bucs hit some balls to the right spots and pulled it out.
Kranick wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t especially good. He gave up three runs over four innings, and needed 82 pitches to get that far. Most of the Brewers’ damage came from Willy Adames and Avisail Garcia. In the first, Adames doubled and Garcia singled him in with two outs. In the third, Adames led off with a home run and Garcia later singled in Omar Narvaez.
Adrian Houser, meanwhile was no-hitting the Pirates into the seventh. Not that the Pirates didn’t have scoring chances, but their excruciating inability to get runners in from third with fewer than two outs was working overtime in this game. In the fifth, Gregory Polanco led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on a wild throw. But Kevin Newman, Michael Perez and pinch hitter Wilmer Difo left him there. That was Polanco’s second steal of the game, giving him 13 on the year without getting caught.
The Brewers got a fourth run in the fifth, off Duane Underwood, Jr.
In the seventh, with Milwaukee up 4-0, Ben Gamel led off with a walk and John Nogowski flied out. By then, Houser had walked five and thrown 104 pitches, so to face Polanco Craig Counsell went to lefty Daniel Norris. Polanco singled for the Pirates’ first hit and Newman doubled in a run. Michael Perez walked to load the bases and pinch hitter Bryan Reynolds reached when Adames dribbled his double play grounder halfway across the infield. That made it 4-2 and Hoy Park followed with a bases-clearing double to put the Pirates up, 5-4. Naturally, Derek Shelton then took Park out in a double switch.
Chasen Shreve and Chris Stratton combined to blow the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Adames singled off Shreve and, with two outs, Garcia doubled off Stratton to make it 5-5.
The Pirates got up to their usual tricks in the eighth. Gamel beat out a bunt and Nogowski singled to put runners at the corners with nobody out, but Polanco, Newman and Perez failed to get a run in.
David Bednar got through the ninth, but only because Polanco went over the fence to rob Eduardo Escobar of a walkoff home run. So the game went to extras.
The Pirates got a break in the tenth. With Josh Hader and Hunter Strickland on the COVID IL, the Brewers went to Blaine Hardy, who until this game hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2019 due to Tommy John. The Pirates still almost pulled off their favorite routine again. Gamel bunted the free runner to third and Nogowski popped up for the second out. But Polanco tapped a slow bouncer into a dead spot in the shift and beat the throw to first. A Newman single and a walk to Perez loaded the bases, and Reynolds blooped a two-run single to center to make it 8-5. Bednar got two strikeouts and stranded the free runner in the bottom half.