Bucs’ offense struggles again
The Associated Press
MILWAUKEE – Hernan Perez drove in three runs with a two-run homer and an RBI single, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pirates, 5-3, Saturday night after Pittsburgh dealt closer Mark Melancon to Washington.
Shifted to third in the batting order because Ryan Braun was sidelined by with right-side tightness, Perez hit a two-run homer in the first off rookie Jameson Taillon (2-2).
Moved up in the order on Thursday because of Braun’s injury, Perez hit a two-run homer off Arizona’s Robbie Ray. Perez has seven home runs this season; he had one in 156 games before this year,
Chase Anderson (6-10) gave up an unearned run and four hits in five innings, striking out a season-high seven. Jeremy Jeffress pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 27 chances, allowing Jordy Mercer’s RBI single.
Milwaukee has won eight straight home games against the Pirates.
Jung Ho Kang’s RBI single in the fourth cut the gap, but Milwaukee opened a 4-1 lead against reliever Jonathan Niese with two outs in the seventh when Scooter Gennett had a run-scoring bloop single and Perez’s third hit of the game drove in another run.
Gregory Polanco hit his 14th homer, an eighth-inning drive off Will Smith. Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered against Neftali Feliz in the bottom half.
Nieuwenhuis saved a run in the fourth with a long throw from right that catcher Martin Maldonado caught on the fly. Kang missed the plate with his slide and Maldonado missed his first tag attempt, the tagged a lunging Maldonado for the inning-ending out.
A Freese out
David Freese was ejected by plate umpire Marty Foster for arguing balls and strikes before the Brewers came to bat in the fifth. Freese had just struck out swinging. John Jaso replaced Freese at first base.
Not this time
Nieuwenhuis charged Taillon’s one-hop line drive in the fifth and fired a strike to first baseman Chris Carter to just get Taillon. That would have been the rookie’s first hit in 12 at-bats.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli was back in the starting lineup after being helped off the field in the eighth inning of Friday night’s game. Gennett was hit by a pitch, and the ball ended up catching Cervelli on his inside right foot. “I feel better,” Cervelli said. “I did a lot of treatment last night. In the moment, I thought it was broke. It was hard. It was the same spot I got hit in Miami.”
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy, rumored to be on the trading block, did not play.
LHP Francisco Liriano (6-10) makes his second start this season against the Brewers. He struck out 13 over 62/3 innings and won 5-3 on July 21. RHP Matt Garza (1-4) starts for Milwaukee.