Reliever Cravy hits homer, but Brewers lose 9-6 to Pirates
MILWAUKEE -- Hernan Perez homered twice and reliever Tyler Cravy went deep for his first career hit. However, it wasn't enough for the Brewers.
Milwaukee gave up an early four-run lead to Pittsburgh, and Gregory Polanco had a tiebreaking three-run double in the eighth inning to lift the Pirates to a 9-6 victory Saturday night.
The Brewers batted around in the first inning and took a 4-1 lead, sparked by Perez's three-run homer off Pirates starter Jameson Taillon.
"That's a good starting pitcher. He came in on a pretty good role," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "That was probably one of our better first innings of the season."
Perez added a solo shot leading off the third that put the Brewers ahead 5-1. Perez improved to 5 for 7 with three home runs and seven RBI against Taillon in the majors after admittedly struggling against him in the minors.
"Now is when it counts," Perez said.
Taillon lasted just three innings, his shortest outing of the season after going at least six innings in each of his last eight starts. He gave up five runs and seven hits, while walking two and striking out three.
Pittsburgh scored five runs in the fourth against Jimmy Nelson to take a 6-5 lead.
"It was a mixed bag. I had two walks in that inning. There were a couple of pitches I made that just found holes. It was two hard hits."
However, Cravy -- who had replaced Nelson -- homered off Jeff Locke (9-7) to open the bottom of the inning for his first major league hit.
Polanco then put the Pirates back ahead with his bases-clearing double off reliever Blaine Boyer (1-3) with one-out in the sixth, giving the Pirates a 9-6 lead that stood.
"I was trying to put a good swing on the ball," Polanco said. "We're fighting, every pitch."
Neftali Feliz got the last three outs for his second save in four attempts. He retired Ryan Braun on an infield chopper with two on in the ninth. The call stood after a two-minute review.
Pittsburgh, just 20-64 at Miller Park since 2007, has won three straight in Milwaukee for the first time since 2013 and has a chance for a four-game sweep in the series finale on Sunday.
Cravy's home run carried into the second deck in left field. "I was definitely surprised that I hit it that well." Cravy's only other professional home run came in the minors.
The beach towels distributed to fans as they arrived at the ballpark came in handy during a third-inning downpour. The rain also prompted the closing of the retractable roof.
Pirates: GM Neal Huntington said after the game that a second opinion would be sought on the ailing right elbow of pitcher Gerrit Cole. "He made us aware after his last start that he had a little bit of discomfort. He'll need a second opinion sometime in this coming week so he'll miss at least his next start. We expect Steven Brault to make the start in his place." . . . Polanco didn't start in order to get rest. . . . RHP Tyler Glasnow (shoulder), who threw three scoreless innings at Double-A Altoona on Monday, tossed three more scoreless innings in a rehab start on Saturday for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Brewers: 3B Jonathan Villar was out of the starting lineup. Manager Craig Counsell said he made the move to give Villar a rest, not because he committed two errors in Friday night's game. . . . RHP Junior Guerra, on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs Saturday at Oklahoma City. . . . 3B Will Middlebrooks (right leg) started a rehab assignment at Double-A Biloxi on Saturday.
Pirates: Ivan Nova (3-0, 3.20 ERA) has wins in three of his first four starts with after being acquired from the New York Yankees on Aug. 1. Nova, who pitched a complete game in his last start against Houston on Tuesday, will make his first career start against Milwaukee.
Brewers: Chase Anderson (7-10, 4.99) is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA over his last six starts. He is 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates, including 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts this season.