Brewers rebound against error-prone Pirates
By John Perrotto
The Sports Xchange
PITTSBURGH -- The Milwaukee Brewers followed their worst game of the season by playing one of their best.
Struggling first baseman Lyle Overbay ruined manager Clint Hurdle’s strategy with a two-run single that broke a tie and the Brewers went on to a 9-3 victory over the sloppy Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, a day after getting clobbered 15-5 in the series opener.
“This was a good win,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “It feels good to come back the next day and play well. We got some big hits, took advantage of some opportunities they gave us and got solid pitching.”
Overbay capped a three-run fourth inning and broke a 2-2 tie with his hit.
“It’s good to win,” Overbay said. “We realized that even though we got beat badly, it was just one loss and we were able to turn the page and come out and play well.”
After left fielder Khris Davis hit an RBI single to tie the score, Hurdle had starter Edinson Volquez (3-5) intentionally walk second baseman Scooter Gennett to load the bases with one out. However, the .213-hitting Overbay delivered.
“I wasn’t really surprised that they walked Scooter in that situation,” Overbay said. “Volquez has a good sinker and they’re looking to get a double play there. What I need to do there is make sure I don’t swing at a sinker low and away and hit into the double play.”
Right fielder Ryan Braun put the game away for the Brewers by hitting a two-run double to cap a four-run eighth that made it 8-3. Shortstop Jean Segura added an RBI single during the inning and another run scored on a groundout. Pinch-hitter Irving Falu hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Right-hander Matt Garza (4-4) won consecutive starts for the first time since last July. He gave up three runs in six innings despite issuing five walks, allowing six hits and having only one strikeout.
“Personal wins are nice, but the team winning is what really matters and all I want to do is keep stacking up those team wins,” Garza said.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Davis had two hits each for the National League Central-leading Brewers (37-26).
The Pirates (29-32), who committed five errors, got two hits each from second baseman Neil Walker and third baseman Pedro Alvarez.
Volquez lost for the first time in four starts, giving up four runs (three earned) and four hits in six innings.
“I left a couple of pitches right in the middle of the plate in (the fourth) inning,” Volquez said. “I’ve got to do a better job than that. I let them have a big inning and that was the ballgame right there.”
Alvarez’s two-run single gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead in the third after Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning.
After Overbay put Milwaukee ahead, Pittsburgh got within a run in the sixth at 4-3 on a double-play grounder. However, relievers Rob Wooten, Will Smith and Brandon Kintzler followed Garza with one scoreless inning each.
“We gave up a lot of free bases with the errors,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “From a fielding perspective, we were all over the place. We allowed them to set up some big innings.”
NOTES: Brewers RHP Tyler Thornburg was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game with a strained right forearm and RHP Mike Fiers was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. Thornburg, who gave up five runs in one inning Friday night, will be examined by team doctors Sunday in Milwaukee. ... Pittsburgh RHP Gerrit Cole was scratched from his scheduled start Monday night against the Chicago Cubs because of shoulder fatigue. LHP Jeff Locke will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to start Sunday against the Brewers in the finale of the three-game series. RHP Charlie Morton will be pushed back one day in the rotation and start Monday. ... Milwaukee RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-4, 4.08 ERA) will face Locke. ... Pittsburgh LF Starling Marte was not in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game. He entered the day in an 0-for-20 slump. OF Jose Tabata started in his place. ... Brewers rookie LHP Wei-Chung Wang suffered a bruised right knee Friday night when struck by a line drive, but X-rays were negative.