PITTSBURGH (AP) – Jonathan Lucroy drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the sixth inning that broke things open for good as the Milwaukee Brewers rolled by the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5 on Wednesday night.
Jonathan Villar, Hernan Perez and Ryan Braun had two hits each for Milwaukee and Chris Carter and Scooter Gennett drove in two runs apiece while the Brewers jumped on starter Jeff Locke early and kept adding on.
Carlos Torres (2-1) won in relief of Chase Anderson, who struggled once again but was bailed out by an offense that took it to Locke (8-6), who gave up five runs in three-plus innings.
Jordy Mercer went 2 for 3 with two RBIs for the Pirates. David Freese doubled twice and Starling Marte added a pair of hits but Pittsburgh couldn’t catch up following another shaky outing by Locke. The left-hander’s ERA this month ballooned to 8.16 in four appearances after he was pulled with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth.
Anderson remained winless since June 8 despite being staked to leads of 2-0 and 5-3, exiting after needing 86 pitches to get through four innings. Torres surrendered a run in the fifth.
The Brewers attacked Pittsburgh catcher Francisco Cervelli, tying a season-high with five stolen bases, including a pair of double steals that paid immediate results. Among the basestealers was Villar, who got his NL-leading 34th base in the sixth.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle was ejected three batters into the game for arguing with home plate umpire Sam Holbrook, who ruled a chopper that appeared to hit Braun as he exited the batters’ box a foul ball. Bench coach Dave Jauss took over.
Brewers: Reliever Michael Blazek pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday night, but there remains no timetable for any possible return to the majors. The team optioned Blazek to the minors earlier this month after he struggled following his return from a stay on the disabled list with a right-elbow impingement in June.
Pirates: Rookie RHP Jameson Taillon remained under the MLB concussion protocol on Wednesday but trainer Todd Tomczyk said Taillon is “checking out very well” and is showing no ill effects of the line drive he took to the back of the head on Tuesday night. Taillon lay on the ground for several minutes after getting hit by a shot off Perez’s bat in the second inning but was allowed to remain in the game after getting cleared by Tomczyk and team doctor Edward Snell.
“I was looking for reasons (to take him out),” Tomczyk said. “But he continued to show that there was no serious risk there.”
The 24-year-old will continue to be monitored but barring a setback will make his next scheduled start on Sunday against Philadelphia.
Brewers: Matt Garza will try to snap a three-game losing streak when he makes his seventh start of the season in the series finale. The 32-year-old is 2-3 with a 4.35 ERA in nine career starts against the Pirates.
Pirates: Francisco Liriano looks to rediscover his dominance at PNC Park on Thursday in the series finale. Liriano is 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA in his last five home starts following a stretch in which the Pirates won 14 straight starts at PNC with Liriano on the mound.