Brewers bounce back with decisive win in Pittsburgh
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis (left), center fielder Carlos Gomez (center), and right fielder Ryan Braun, celebrate afte the final out against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. The Brewers won 9-3.
After suffering through their worst loss of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers answered back in convincing fashion Saturday afternoon at PNC Park.
The Brewers didn’t let a 12-2 whipping carry over to the next day, taking the lead on a Lyle Overbay two-run single in the fourth inning and adding on late in a 9-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"We played well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We made some really good double plays and got some big hits when we needed to. I thought that was a good game all around."
Sloppy play by the Pirates allowed the Brewers to score an unearned run in the first inning, but Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-out, two-run bloop single by Pedro Alvarez off starter Matt Garza.
The Brewers tied the game in the fourth inning, as Jonathan Lucroy singled and Aramis Ramirez was hit by a pitch before Khris Davis evened things at 2-2 with a ground-rule double. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle then had to decide whether to pitch to Scooter Gennett with runners on second and third with one out or load the bases for Overbay.
Hurdle chose to walk Gennett, a move that backfired when Overbay lined the first pitch he saw from Edinson Volquez into center for a two-run single that put the Brewers up for good at 4-2.
"You have to make sure you aren’t over antsy," Overbay said. "That’s what they want you to do. If he throws that fastball down and away, they want that groundball and double play. You can’t get hyped up too much about it and make it personal.
"He threw me a couple of fastballs in my first AB. He was throwing a lot of offspeed pitches with runners in scoring position, so I was looking for a curveball or changeup. He threw a curveball for a strike."
The Pirates cut the deficit to 4-3 in the sixth inning and Neil Walker led off the seventh with a single off reliever Rob Wooten. Back in the place where he suffered his first loss of the season, Wooten had better luck this time around, inducing Andrew McCutchen to hit into a double play and striking out Ike Davis to end the inning.
Although it wasn’t as big as the eight-run frame the Pirates put on the Brewers on Friday, Milwaukee did build itself a comfortable late lead by scoring four runs in the eighth inning and another in the ninth.
A fielder’s choice hit into by Rickie Weeks plated a run to give the Brewers some breathing room, while Jean Segura legged out an infield single to put another tally on the board. Ryan Braun capped the inning with a two-run double to make it 8-3.
"I think it is just us answering back," Garza said. "We really don’t pay attention to how many runs we lose by, it is still a loss (on Friday). We just come back, answer back and try to get that W again.
"We just have a bunch of battlers. Nobody in here wants to quit. We rely on each other to pick each other up."
While not as sharp as his last time out, Garza battled through five walks to allow only three runs over six innings of work. Two of the three runs scored on a bloop single, while a walk and a bunt single led to the third run.
"Some days you don’t have your best stuff, but you just keep going," Garza said. "I’ve been dealing with a lot of bloop singles, especially here in Pittsburgh. You just keep going and not make a big deal about it.
"It’s just end of the bat or on their hands. I think the only ball they hit hard today was the double by Alvarez. They are feisty and keep sticking the bat out there to make contact."
Acting quick: It appears as if the Brewers didn’t waste much time in locking up two of their top three picks in the First-Year Player Draft.
According to a report by Jim Callis of MLB.com, the Brewers agreed to terms for $1.8 million — roughly $700,000 over slot — with second-round pick Monte Harrison on Saturday. Harrison was expected to be a tough sign due to his commitment to play football and baseball at Nebraska.
Baseball America then reported Milwaukee also agreed to terms at $1.83 million with Competitive Balance Round A and 41st-overall pick Jacob Gatewood.
The Brewers were lauded for taking high-ceiling players like Gatewood and Harrison, but there were concerns as to if they would sign them. Because Milwaukee went over slot with both players, the Brewers will have to find ways to save money when signing other draft picks.