Pittsburgh Pirates starter Francisco Liriano lasted only three innings on Wednesday night, giving up seven runs and seven hits, and the Pirates dropped the final game of a three-game affair in Milwaukee 9-3 to the Brewers.
Liriano (15-7; 2.98 ERA) struck out four batters and walked two. Two runs scored off Pirates reliever Stolmy Pimentel, who made his Major League debut.
Andrew McCutchen homered for the second straight night for Pittsburgh (81-58), while Jordy Mercer and Marlon Byrd both singled home runs. Byrd went 3-for-5, and Neil Walker and Justin Morneau both recorded two of the Pirates’ 12 hits, but the Bucs stranded 12 runners and had another thrown out at home plate.
Khris Davis homered for Milwaukee (60-79), while Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez both doubled in runs. Martin Maldonado had an RBI singled, Jeff Bianchi recorded RBI’s with a sacrifice fly and a ground ball, and Yuniesky Betancourt scored on a wild pitch.
Brewers starter Wily Peralta (9-14; 4.51 ERA) earned the win, allowing three runs and nine hits over six innings, while striking out six hitters and walking one.
The loss by Pittsburgh, coupled with the Cardinals’ 5-4, 16 inning win over the Reds, lowered the Pirates’ lead over St. Louis in the National League Central Division to one game, while Cincinnati stays 3-and-a-half games behind. Slippery Rock University alumnus and Philipsburg native Matt Adams homered twice in extra innings for St. Louis. The Cards and Reds play one more game in Cincinnati on Thursday, while the Bucs are idle.
The Pirates and the Cardinals will meet in a three-game weekend series in St. Louis, beginning Friday night with Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett (7-9; 3.09 ERA) scheduled to face the Cards’ Joe Kelly (7-3; 2.82 ERA).