Relievers Wooten, Wang struggle late in loss to Pirates
APR 17, 2014 11:45p ET
After Yovani Gallardo grinded through six innings to keep the game tied at 2-2 without his best stuff, relievers Rob Wooten and Wei-Chung Wang got lit up for nine runs in two innings in a 11-2 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.
"It was a good ballgame until the seventh inning," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We didn't do much offensively and we let it get away from us defensively."
The Brewers were unable to solve Pirates starter Edinson Volquez for the second time in less than a week, as the right-hander followed up a solid performance at Miller Park last Saturday with a solid effort Thursday.
Volquez allowed two runs in the first three innings but that was it over his seven innings of work, earning his first victory since Aug. 17, 2013. It was the first time Volquez went seven or more innings since June 12, 2013.
"He's attacking guys, to be honest," Gallardo said of Volquez. "He's throwing the ball over the plate. He's always had good stuff. He's going after hitters. His past two starts against us, he did a pretty good job mixing things up."
Tied at 2-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, Roenicke went to right-hander Rob Wooten out of the bullpen after pinch hitting for Gallardo, who was at 114 pitches, in the top of the inning.
Wooten, called up from Triple-A on Saturday, allowed a leadoff single to Jordy Mercer before pinch-hitter Josh Harrison homered on a line-drive to left field to put Pittsburgh up 4-2. Starling Marte followed with an infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
That allowed Marte to score on Andrew McCutchen's groundout to push the Pirates lead to 5-2 heading to the eighth.
"I like Wooten," Roenicke said. "Last year when he came up I put him right in tough situations. I'm fine with Wooten, no matter where he is."
Roenicke chose to give Wang his second big-league outing with the Brewers trailing by three. Things quickly got out of hand, as the rookie left-hander was pounded for six hits and six runs in an inning of work.
Two ugly innings for the bullpen spoiled a solid, but laborious outing for Gallardo. The only two runs the right-hander allowed came in the first inning when a leadoff walk to Marte and a two-run home run by McCutchen spoiled Milwaukee's early 1-0 lead.
"The ball was just up," Gallardo said. "I tried to go down and away and it was right down the middle, thigh high. To a hitter like that, you can't make that kind of mistake."
Gallardo was able to escape further damage and give up just the two runs over six innings, lowering his ERA to 1.46 after four starts. The downside to Gallardo's start was the fact he needed to use 114 pitches just to get through six innings, causing Roenicke to have to use Wooten for the seventh inning.
"He keeps us in the game," Roenicke said of Gallardo. "He gives up two in the first and then all zeros. He did a great job of hanging in there and making good pitches when he had to."