MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ben Gamel hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run seventh inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 on Saturday.
Pittsburgh was held to one hit through six innings by Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff before erasing a three-run deficit in the seventh.
“We strung a ton of really good at-bats together that inning,” Gamel said. “Woody had us up against the ropes the entire game. The fact that we were able to push a couple across on him was huge.”
Yoshi Tsutsugo and Kevin Newman opened with singles. Oneil Cruz sliced an RBI double to left, making it 3-1 and chasing Woodruff. Brad Boxberger (3-2) came on and got pinch-hitter Bryan Reynolds on a called third strike. Pirates manager Derek Shelton was ejected by home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz after arguing the call.
Newman alertly scored from third on a fly out to left when the throw in got away from Boxberger. Gamel then drove a 2-0 pitch 397 feet to left-center for his fourth homer to put Pittsburgh ahead.
Each of the three hits in the seventh off Woodruff came on the first pitch.
“Woody had a bunch of strikeouts. I think as you kind of get through a lineup a couple times, that could be a strategy for a hitter,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “They hit a couple balls hard to start the inning and then they got a big blast of Box.”
Milwaukee squandered a chance to tie it in the bottom half when Willy Adames was called out at home while trying to score from third on Kolten Wong’s bouncer to first.
Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich also was ejected after being called out on strikes in the ninth inning.
“Good job coming back by our group. They continued to battle,” Shelton said. “Anytime you face Woodruff, you’re talking about one of the best pitchers in the National League. And, we continued to grind, had good at-bats and were able to get the victory. And, our bullpen was outstanding.”
Woodruff retired the first 13 hitters before Tsutsugo’s double to right-center with one in the fifth. He allowed four hits with three earned runs, with three walks and nine strikeouts.
Pirates starter Zach Thompson allowed two runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking three. Chase De Jong (4-0) got the final two outs in the sixth for the victory. David Bednar tossed a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances.
“We’re missing the next hit, for sure,” Counsell said. “It’s keeping our run total down every day. It’s the three, the four, the two, and so we need that next hit. We need the productive out with men on third, a couple times this series we haven’t got. That’s the story of scoring runs.”
Luis Urias staked the Brewers to a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his 10th home run, a one-out, 404-foot shot to left.
Milwaukee made it 2-0 in the fifth when Yelich doubled to open and Andrew McCutchen delivered a two-out RBI single to right.
The Brewers added a run in the sixth when Urias was hit by a pitch. Urias came around to score when Keston Hiura’s single got by left-fielder Gamel.
Brewers: RHP Freddy Peralta (60-day IL, right shoulder strain) threw a bullpen session. “To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to feel that good by this time, but feeling great,” Peralta said. “I feel like I’m ready to pitch tomorrow, but I know that it takes time.” A definite timeline has not been set for his return, but manager Craig Counsell said August was a possibility. … OF Hunter Renfroe (left calf strain) and OF Tyrone Taylor (concussion) are on track to return for the road series in San Francisco, which begins July 14.
GAMEL’S RARE ERROR
Gamel’s fielding miscue was his first error since April 28, 2019, when he was with Milwaukee, a span of 275-games, 2,015 errorless innings, according to the Pirates.
TELLEZ SETTLES FOR SINGLE
Rowdy Tellez singled in the seventh inning after having each of his last 10 hits go for extra bases, which matched the Brewers franchise record set by Ryan Thompson in 2002.
LHP Eric Lauer (6-3, 3.84 ERA) starts the series finale for the Brewers on Sunday, opposed by LHP Jose Quintana (2-4, 3.33). Lauer has given up 17 homers, including nine in his last five starts, after allowing 16 all last season. Quintana is 9-4 in 19 career appearances versus Milwaukee.