It seems that whatever magic had been fueling the Brewers pitching staff over the last month has dissipated over their last three games.
On Wednesday, the Blue Jays knocked Jimmy Nelson and the Brewer bullpen around to the tune of a 9-5 Jays in. On Friday, the Pirates scored eight, thanks to some poor defense from the Crew, and today Wily Peralta (15-7, 3.27 ERA) got beat up to the tune of eight runs en route to a 10-2 Brewers loss.
Edinson Volquez (10-7, 3.58 ERA) did the pitching for the Pirates, and despite allowing more hits and base runners than Peralta did, he stranded runner after runner on base for the Pirates.
The loss narrows Milwaukee’s lead in the National League Central division even further, after the two previous losses. With St. Louis’s win over Philadelphia, they are now just 1/2 a game back of Milwaukee.
Through the first three innings, Peralta allowed just a two-out walk in the second to Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez took second on a ball in the dirt, but that was it for the Pirates through the first third of the game.
They threatened again in the bottom of the third with two out singles by Aramis Ramirez and Scooter Gennett. Davis knocked a double to left-center to bring in Ramirez making it 2-0 before the inning ended on an Overbay fly out.
Wily struggled in the fourth after having those great first three innings. Neal Walker drew a full-count walk with two outs in the fourth. Russell Martin followed with a double to put two on for Pedro Alvarez who deposited the ball over the left field wall to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead on his 16th home run of the season.
Starling Marte followed with a single to center, and stole second. Peralta walked Jordy Mercer to put two on for Volquez who struck out to end the inning. Peralta saw his pitch count balloon to 78 by the time the inning ended.
Peralta drew a one-out walk in the bottom half of the fourth to give Milwaukee some life. Gomez followed with a single to left to put two on. Lucroy knocked a little looping fly ball to right field to load the bases for Ryan Braun.
Braun popped up on the infield for the second out of the inning and Ramirez struck out to end the inning. Through four innings the Brewers stranded eight runners on base, six of whom where in scoring position.
Snider scored on a Walker double, and Russell Martin cleared the bases with his seventh home run of the season. Pedro Alvarez followed with his second home run of the night to make it 8-2 Pirates before Peralta got ground outs out of Marte and Mercer to end the inning.
The Brewers managed only a Lyle Overbay double in their half of the fifth inning.
Marco Estrada came on to pitch the sixth for Milwaukee. Peralta went five innings pitched and allowed eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits and three walks. He struck out five. Consider that he started the game by going 3 2/3 innings without allowing a hit.
Harrison knocked a one-out double off Estrada, and after a Snider pop out and McCutchen walk Harrison came around to score on a Walker single on a little blooper over third base.
Estrada walked Martin to put two on for Alvarez who flew out to center to end the inning with Pittsburgh on top 9-2.
Gomez knocked a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth to keep the Brewers train to the base paths (but off the scoreboard) going, but he was thrown out at third on a Lucroy single for the second out of the inning. It was bad base running by Gomez.
Braun knocked a single to right for the third straight Brewer hit, and chase Volquez from the game. Jared Hughes came on to pitch for the Pirates and got Ramirez to ground out on one pitch to end the inning and see the Brewers strand two more runners on base.
Volquez went 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on 11 hits and two walks while striking out three.
With his struggles in the sixth, Estrada didn’t get another inning of work on the mound and Jeremy Jeffress came on to pitch the seventh for Milwaukee. Marte led off the inning with a swinging-bunt single for the Pirates but that was it off Jeffress in the inning.
Hughes returned to the hill in the seventh, after only throwing one pitch in the sixth. He set down Gennett and Davis quickly before walking Overbay, but pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra grounded out to end the inning.
Zach Duke came on to pitch the eighth for Milwaukee. Snider knocked a lead-off single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He came around to score two batters later on a Walker single to make it 10-2. Martin grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Jeanmar Gomez came on to pitch the eighth for the Pirates and a Segura infield single was all the Brewers could manage in the frame.
Francisco Rodriguez worked a perfect ninth for Milwaukee, and Gomez returned to the hill in the bottom half of the inning for the Pirates. Mark Reynolds led off with a walk but two line drive outs, the second for a double play, ended the game.
Volquez got the win for the Pirates, his 11th of the season. It was Peralta’s 8th loss of the year for Milwaukee.