Dillon Peters had a surprisingly decent debut with the Pirates, but both the offense and defense let him down and the Pirates lost the rubber game of their series with Milwaukee, 2-1. They’ve now lost 19 of their last 25 and are 2-12 in August.
Peters’ start had some downsides. For one thing, he walked three, including the pitcher. He allowed only two runs, though, and both resulted from poor defense.
The Brewers picked up an unearned run in the first when Rodolfo Castro threw the ball away on an infield hit with a runner on base. The other run came in the third. With a runner on first and two out, Christian Yelich hit a catchable line drive to right. Gregory Polanco continued to earn the opportunities by breaking in rather than back, and the ball sailed over his head. Polanco earned even more of the opportunities by going 0-for-3 at the plate.) Even then the Pirates had a shot to get the runner at home, but Castro’s relay sailed off into parts unknown.
Peters stayed in until Yelich hit a real double with two out in the fifth. Kyle Keller ended the inning by getting Avisail Garcia to line out to center. The one-batter outing was the first time in five August outings Keller didn’t get scored upon.
The Pirates’ offense continued repeating the same dreary patterns it has all year. In 19 games against the Brewers, the Pirates haven’t seen much of their big three of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta. Those three have made only seven starts against the Pirates. Adrian Houser, Brett Anderson, Eric Lauer and Aaron Ashby have made the other 12, and have generally found it a cakewalk.
Lauer was the lucky guy today. He gave up three hits over four innings. The only threat came when Kevin Newman led off the second with a double and came around on a sacrifice and a Ben Gamel infield hit. Five relievers followed for an inning apiece and found it a breeze. The Pirates finished with four hits for the second straight game, along with one walk and 13 whiffs, four of them by Castro, who’s probably had better days.