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Pirates finally get back in the win column

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Adam Frazier’s walk-off home run snapped the Pirates’ seven game losing streak, beating the Brewers 6-4 Wednesday night.

THE BIG STORY

The last time Steven Brault took the mound on Sept. 11, the Pirates were mired in a five game losing streak. Brault broke the streak then, but a string of seven straight losses was right around the corner.

For the second time in a row, the Pirates’ snapped a losing streak during a Brault start, and the pressure is easing up.

“It’s like you popped a balloon,” Brault said. “It’s awesome. There’s no pressure.”

The bats had been silent throughout the streak, with the Pirates only scoring nine runs in the seven games. They were shutout in both game one and two of this current homestand.

“We’ve been close. We’ve had guys on base,” Frazier said. “...It’s been like that all season. Just a hit or two away from being a really good team.”

HOW THEY SCORED

The Brewers posted two early solo home runs to take a 2-0 lead. Jesus Aguilar’s 440 foot moonshot came in the second, while Domingo Santana homered for the second consecutive night in the third.

The Pirates snapped a 21.1 inning scoreless streak in the third when Frazier tripled home Jordy Mercer and Brault. Starling Marte brought Frazier home during the next at-bat with a bloop single to center. Leading 3-2 after three innings, the Pirates snapped a 68 inning streak where they ended the frame either tied or losing.

The Brewers tied the game in the seventh on an Eric Thames double and took the lead for good when Stephen Vogt drew a bases loaded walk.

Andrew McCutchen tied the game in the eighth when Brewers’ closer Corey Knebel threw away a roller by David Freese. Frazier was the hero in the ninth with his two out, two run home run.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED

The Brewers went with four consecutive pinch-hitters in the seventh: Walker, Thames, Eric Sogard and Vogt. All four reached base. Walker drew a free pass before Thames drove in the game-tying run with a double. Sogard was intentionally walked, and Vogt’s walk with the bases loaded gave the Brewers’ the lead.

TOE THE RUBBER

Steven Brault pitched all five of the innings Clint Hurdle had him scheduled for Wednesday. He allowed a pair of home runs, but ended his night with only those two runs, four hits and a walk on his ledger. He struck out three.

Being told he was going to go just five innings did provide some challenge for Brault. “There’s a lot of things going on in your head because you’re like, ‘well I’m going five,’ and now it’s like, ‘I have to go five,’” Brault said. “It kind of changes things a bit.”

Brault threw eight first pitch strikes to his 19 batters faced and had four three-ball counts. He retired five on three pitches or less.

As scheduled, Tyler Glasnow was the first man out of the bullpen. He walked four of the six batters he faced in his 1.1 innings.

“[I’ll] just try to forget about this one,” Glasnow said.

A.J. Schugel came on in relief and allowed both of the runners he inherited from Glasnow to score. Daniel Hudson struck out two batters in the eighth to strand the inherited runner Dan Runzler put on base. Felipe Rivero walked a batter and allowed a hit, but improved to 5-2 on the year.

Aaron Wilkerson went 2.1 innings of three run ball in his first major league start. Knebel falls to 1-3 on the year after allowing two earned runs in 1+ innings.

I SPY

Aguilar’s home run one-hopped the bathroom in the Pirates’ bullpen.

LINE OF THE NIGHT

Adam Frazier: 2-5, HR, 3B, 4 RBI, 2 R

HE SAID IT

“It’s pretty nice when Frazier just decides he’s going to score all the runs today. That’s convenient. That’s a good way to win.”- Steven Brault

ON DECK

The Pirates have Thursday off before welcoming the St. Louis Cardinals Friday. Ivan Nova (11-14, 4.20) will oppose Michael Wacha (12-8, 4.02) at 7:05 p.m.. Nova’s 7.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the best he has against any team this year.

NUMB3RS

1. Adam has 15 hits in his last 28 at-bats with a runner in scoring position, driving home 17 runs. He’s hitting .341 with RISP this season (29-85).

2. The Pirates snapped Knebel’s streak of 21 consecutive saves.

3. Mercer’s third inning walk snapped a streak of 21 innings without a Pirate batter walking.

 

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