Pirates fall flat in second-half opener
MILWAUKEE – Gerardo Parra had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice, Mike Fiers scattered three hits over seven solid innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 on Friday night.
Parra had three of Milwaukee’s five hits off Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (6-3) and they all figured into the scoring.
Parra doubled in the first and scored on a groundout. His double in the fifth scored Scooter Gennett, who had been hit by a pitch and advanced on a sacrifice by Fiers (5-7).
Parra’s run-scoring hit in the seventh chased Morton. He scored when Jonathan Lucroy grounded into a double play off reliever Jared Hughes.
Fiers allowed Jung Ho Kang’s homer in the seventh, walked one and struck out seven. Will Smith pitched the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez closed it out with his 20th save in 20 chances.
After Fiers had hit the first Pittsburgh batter in the second and fifth innings, Morton plunked Gennett, the leadoff batter in the bottom of the fifth, prompting plate umpire Dale Scott to warn both managers. Gennett took second on Fiers’ sacrifice and scored on Parra’s double.
The Pirates had won 11 of their last 13 games leading up to the All-Star break. Pittsburgh came in with a major league-best 10-2 record in July, scoring 53 runs so far, which was second to the Brewers’ 66 in the NL.
Pirates: 1B/OF Corey Hart, who has been on the 15-day DL (shoulder impingement) since June 24, retroactive to June 22, traveled with the team. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on June 30, but now has soreness in his knee.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta pitched Thursday night in his first rehab start with Double-A Biloxi and is expected to make his next one in five days. “He threw 58 pitches, so he’s got another step still to take,” manager Craig Counsell said. Peralta has been the 15-day DL (strained left oblique) since May 25, retroactive to May 23.
Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (5-6) went 0-1 last season in two starts at Miller Park, but is 6-5 in 14 career games, including 13 starts, against the Brewers.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (6-9) is 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in three career starts this season against the Pirates.