Pirates take rubber game of series with MilwaukeeWisconsin Sports
-- The Pittsburgh Pirates belted four home runs yesterday, and they took a weekend series from the Milwaukee Brewers with a 6-5 victory at Miller Park.
MILWAUKEE - The Pittsburgh Pirates belted four home runs yesterday, and they took a weekend series from the Milwaukee Brewers with a 6-5 victory at Miller Park.
The Pirates went in front for good in the fifth inning, when Andrew McCutcheon and Garrett Jones hit back-to-back homers off Michael Fiers that scored three runs. Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes also went yard, which marked the first time in just over a year that the Pirates pounded four homers in a game. The Brewers hit three homers themselves -- solo shots from Nyjer Morgan, Brooks Conrad, and Martin Maldonado. Brewers' third baseman Aramis Ramirez sat out after he strained his left quadriceps on Saturday night.
Reigning MVP Ryan Braun did not start either, after he hurt a hip and aggravated an Achilles injury on Friday night. Braun was a pinch-hitter in the eighth yesterday with two-on and two-out -- but he flied out deep to right to end the inning. James McDonald improved to 5-and-2 for the Pirates. He ended a string of 13 scoreless innings by giving up three runs -- one earned -- in six frames on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. Joel Hanrahan earned his 14th save despite giving up a solo homer. Fiers also struck out eight, but he surrendered four runs on eight hits with a walk in five-plus innings. He's now 1-1 after being called up to replace the injured Marco Estrada.
The Pirates took two-of-three from the Brew Crew, and moved into a second-place tie with Saint Louis in the National League Central, both three games behind Cincinnati. Milwaukee remains in a tie for fourth, at six-and-a-half out. The Brewers are off today, and will host the Chicago Cubs tomorrow night.
Marco Estrada expects to throw from a mound tomorrow for the first time since he injured his right quadriceps on May 23rd. Estrada, the Brewers' Number-five starter, played long toss with no restrictions on Saturday. That was also a first since he got hurt legging out a double. Estrada says he feels great, but manager Ron Roenicke expects him to miss at least one more start considering the Brewers' off-days which are coming up.
Don’t be surprised if the Milwaukee Brewers go for infield help when the Major League First-Year Player Draft begins tonight. The Brewers have made pitching a priority the past couple of years. But the organization has been thin at shortstop throughout its system – and there’s some talk that Milwaukee might go in that direction. For the second year in a row, the Brewers have two picks in tonight’s first-round. The 27th pick is compensation for losing Prince Fielder, and the Brewers’ regular pick is at Number-28. They also have a second pick for losing Fielder, in the Number-38 slot between the first-and-second rounds. Except for the first couple picks, Brewers’ scouting director Bruce Seid says the talent level is about the same well down the board. This year, he says it’s possible to get about the same talent level at the 40th spot as with the 10th pick. Also, teams won’t have as much time to sign their picks. The new collective bargaining agreement requires that they be signed by July 13th. The signing deadline used to be in mid-August.