Brewers look to stay hot against Pirates

MLB

Left-hander Eric Lauer will look to continue Milwaukee’s recent success against Pittsburgh when the Brewers open a three-game series at home on Monday against the Pirates.

Milwaukee, which leads the National League Central by seven games over Cincinnati, swept a three-game series at Pittsburgh last week, outscoring the Pirates 28-3 to open a six-game road trip. The Brewers are 10-3 this season against last-place Pittsburgh, which trails Milwaukee by 22 1/2 games.

Milwaukee then took two of three in Atlanta, including a 2-1 victory on Sunday, improving to just 10-35 when scoring three runs or fewer. Josh Hader pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 23 chances, but first since his last opportunity on July 8.

The Brewers, who have won 10 of 14 since the All-Star break, got a solo homer from Willy Adames, his 18th of season, but 13th in 62 games with Milwaukee since being acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay. Lorenzo Cain scored on an RBI groundout in the fifth to put the Brewers up 2-0.

“That’s what it takes. Big guys stepping up getting those hits and pitching staying strong,” Hader said. “At the end of the day, as long as we can limit the runs that we give up and continue to hit the ball and play good baseball, that’s what you want.”

Right-hander Bryse Wilson (2-3, 4.83 ERA) will make his first start for Pittsburgh on Monday after being acquired in a deadline deal with Atlanta for right-handed reliever Richard Rodriguez.

After being swept by the Brewers, the Pirates bounced back to take two from Philadelphia before dropping the series finale 15-4 on Sunday.

Lauer (3-4, 3.78) has posted a 1.17 ERA in his last five outings, including four starts allowing five earned runs in 26 1/3 innings. After six consecutive starts, Lauer last pitched in relief on Wednesday, allowing one run on two hits in three innings in the Brewers’ 7-3 victory at Pittsburgh.

Lauer is 1-2 with 3.13 ERA in six career appearances, including five starts, against Pittsburgh.

The 23-year-old Wilson made seven starts with Atlanta this season, bouncing back and forth between the Braves and Triple A. He pitched three scoreless innings in his previous start last Monday against the Mets.

“I think there’s obviously been flashes, whether it was last year’s postseason outing, a couple starts this year against the Blue Jays and, actually, the Pirates where I’ve flashed what I can do,” Wilson said. “I’m just super excited to get some consistency and some opportunities going forward and be able to just prove that I can be consistent with the stuff that I’ve showed that I can have.”

Wilson started one game against the Brewers in 2019, allowing four runs in four innings to take the loss.

The Brewers have five players on the injured list due to COVID-19. Outfielder Christian Yelich and relievers Hunter Strickland and Jake Cousins tested positive, while infielder Jace Peterson and reliever Jandel Gustave were placed on the IL due to contact tracing protocols.

The series marks the home debut for three Brewers players acquired before the deadline — infielder Eduardo Escobar from Arizona, right-handed reliever John Curtiss from Miami and left-handed reliever Daniel Norris from Detroit.

–Field Level Media

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