The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to salvage the third game of a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday afternoon in Milwaukee.
Despite being outhit in both games, the Brewers won the opening two games of the series, owing to a huge inning in both.
Milwaukee won 5-2 on Tuesday night behind Corbin Burnes, who pitched seven innings and struck out ten batters while allowing two runs on solo homers.
With the help of an error, the Brewers scored four runs on two hits in the second inning against JT Brubaker. Rowdy Tellez hit a two-run homer, while Kolten Wong’s broken-bat bloop double to shallow right drove in two unearned runs.
“I thought we had some decent at-bats, but it just didn’t go our way,” said Daniel Vogelbach, who homered for Pittsburgh with Josh VanMeter. “The good news is that it only counts as one game, so we get another shot (on Wednesday).”
The Brewers won 6-1 on Monday thanks to a five-run fourth inning highlighted by Christian Yelich’s grand slam. The Brewers have been shut out twice and scored one run twice in their five losses.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell remarked of his team’s offence, “If we hit home runs, it’ll be OK.” “We took advantage of their mistakes (Tuesday), did damage with them, and obviously got a break on Kolten’s ball.”
Mitch Keller (0-2, 9.39 ERA) will make his third start of the season for Pittsburgh in the series finale. Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 7.27 ERA), a fellow right-hander, makes his third start for Milwaukee.
Keller’s most recent start ended in a 7-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday. In 3 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on seven hits. On April 9, he also lost against St. Louis, pitching up four runs on six hits in four innings.
Keller’s only career start against the Brewers came last August 14, when he gave up two runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 6-0 loss.
In his debut start, Woodruff struggled, giving up seven runs on six hits in three and a third innings in a 9-0 defeat to the Chicago Cubs on April 9. But he bounced back in his most recent start, allowing just three hits in five shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
In ten career games versus the Pirates, including eight starts, Woodruff is 4-2 with a 4.21 ERA. In his only start against Pittsburgh last season, he went seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits in a 7-4 win on June 11.
Devin Williams pitched a spotless eighth inning to give the Brewers a major lift in the bullpen on Tuesday, setting up Josh Hader’s fifth save in five chances.
Williams, the National League Reliever of the Year in 2020, had struggled in his previous two appearances, surrendering two runs in less than a complete inning each time and walking six batters.
“It’s a step in the right way,” Williams said after striking out eight of his 11 batters on Tuesday. “All I wanted to do was get in there and throw strikes.” It’s something I’ve been slacking on, so that was my primary goal today.”
Since the start of the 2019 season, Milwaukee has limited Pittsburgh to two runs or fewer in 22 of 50 matchups, winning 21 of them. Since 2019, the Brewers have gone 19-5 against the Pirates at home.