Another game at Miller Park, another heartbreaking loss.
It was clear from the start that James McDonald didn’t have his best stuff, but Hurdle left him in there for as long as he could. J-Mac couldn’t find the strike zone at all, walking five batters and not getting a swinging strike until the eighth batter of the 2nd inning. But despite giving up seven runs in five innings of work, the line on McDonald ended with him in line for the win.
The Bucs got to Marco Estrada right away when Starling Marte, Russell Martin, and Cutch (on his way to a four-hit day) collected hits to start the game. Cutch’s single brought home Marte, making it 1-0. In between McDonald allowing those seven runs in the first five innings, the Pirates chipped away at the lead. Gaby Sanchez clocked his fourth home run of the season in the 3rd inning – a two-run shot that tied the game. After falling back behind by a few runs, Martin and Cutch stepped up in the 5th inning with back-to-back homers – their sixth and third of the season, respectively.
McDonald pitched a 1-2-3 5th and was pinch-hit for the next inning, but not before his offense picked him up. After a strikeout, two straight singles by the bottom two hitters brought up Jose Tabata, who was pinch hitting. He grounded to second and the Brewers got the force out at second, but Tabata was called safe on the back end of the double play attempt, despite being out by a half step. After a pitching change, Marte came up HUGE with a three-run go-ahead bomb to dead CF that Carlos Gomez just missed robbing as the Pirates went up 8-7 and put J-Mac in line for a victory.
Of course, that lead literally held for one pitch. Vin Mazzaro came in for the 6th and Jean Segura took him deep on the first pitch of the inning. He also worked himself into a jam that Bryan Morris got him out of with a double play and lineout, but Morris’ luck ran out shortly after. In the 7th, Yuniesky Betancourt lead off with the go-ahead home run that made it 9-8, and Milwaukee didn’t look back. They added three more in the 8th off of Tony Watson with Rickie Weeks‘ home run, sealing the 12-8 win. To make matters worse, former Pirate Tom Gorzelanny earned the victory by pitching a scoreless inning just before his team retook the lead.
Pirates (15-12) – Brewers (14-11)
Win: Gorzelanny (1-0)
Loss: Morris (0-1)