If the Milwaukee Brewers could pick one opponent to play for an entire season, it likely would be the Pittsburgh Pirates considering the latter’s lack of success at Miller Park. The latest example came in Friday night’s game, a 2-1 loss to the Brewers.Following a rocky second inning, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett settled in, retiring 10 straight Brewers hitters. Burnett would last seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out six batters while using 99 pitches.
The hiccups came in the second inning when Burnett walked leadoff hitter Aramis Ramirez and then allowed Carlos Gomez to double. Following what was thought to be an important strikeout, Alex Gonzalez doubled both runs in.
Brewers pitcher Marco Estrada had plenty of prior success against the Pirates and this game would prove no different. Despite a fastball that averaged just 89 miles per hour, the Milwaukee starter consistently placed the ball on the outer half of the plate to frustrate the Pittsburgh batters.
This result worked as he set down the first 14 Pirates hitters. Once again, the Pirates failed the needed run support for Burnett.
The Pirates lone run came in the top of the seventh inning. Following an Andrew McCutchen line out, Gaby Sanchez singled. Russell Martin then hit a sharp ball that shortstop Jean Segura grabbed before making a leaping throw to get Sanchez out at second base. This proved to be the play of the game as when Neil Walker hit a deep double, it was just one run that scored instead of two.
Both Milwaukee’s Brandon Kinzler and Pittsburgh’s Bryan Morris did their jobs in the eighth inning, as both relievers kept the game at 2-1 heading for the ninth.
Jim Henderson came in to close the door for the Brewers and got two outs before he twisted his ankle and had to come out of the game. This forced Francisco Rodriguez to come in. Rodriguez was called up last week during Milwaukee’s four-game series at PNC Park. He did his job, earning a save by getting Walker to ground out to second base.
These two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon as Jeff Locke (4-1, 2.73 ERA) will face Mike Fiers (1-2, 5.93), who is making a spot start. The game is scheduled for 4:10 ET.