Monday night’s contest went from a competitive match-up to a one-sided affair quicker than a lightning strike, as the Milwaukee Brewers powered their way to a 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at American Family Field.
In his Pirates debut, right-handed pitcher Bryse Wilson allowed just two hits and one earned run over five innings of work. His only trouble came in the third inning as two singles and a sacrifice fly led to the game’s first run.
Center fielder Bryan Reynolds may have had a quiet night at the plate, but he continued to shine defensively as a diving catch robbed the Brewers of a two-out rally in the second inning.
Manager Derek Shelton turned to Kyle Keller in the sixth frame, and that’s when things got hairy. After retiring Kolten Wong and Willy Adames, catcher Omar Narvaez drew a two-out walk and newly-acquired third baseman Eduardo Escobar brought him in on a triple to right field.
Keller would hit Avisail Garcia in the next at-bat and intentionally walk Rowdy Tellez afterward. Tyrone Taylor worked a walk to bring in Escobar from third, making it a 3-0 contest.
Nick Mears relieved Keller in the seventh and would start the frame with a strikeout to Jace Peterson. Kolten Wong singled afterwards on a sharp grounder to Mears, and Narvaez reached on a free pass a few hitters later. Escobar put the proverbial nail in the coffin afterward with a three-run home run.
Shea Spitzbarth, who was called up by the Pirates prior to Monday’s game, made his Major League debut in relief of Mears where he faced three hitters. After walking Garcia and allowing a single to Tellez, Spitzbarth got Taylor to fly out to right to stop the bleeding.
The Bucs would attempt to spark a rally in the ninth as Bryan Reynolds reached on a hit-by-pitch to start the inning. Jacob Stallings and Gregory Polanco followed a line out by John Nogowski with a pair of singles, loading the bases for pinch-hitter Ben Gamel, who worked a walk to score the Pirates’ first run of the game.
Brad Boxberger entered in relief of John Axford in the ninth and struck out Kevin Newman, but allowed a walk to Wilmer Difo, prolonging the inning.
The rally was short-lived as Phillip Evans watched a pitch right down the middle to end the game.
The Pirates move to 40-66 while the Brewers improve to 64-43. Game two is tomorrow night and the end of the season is still two months away.