Brewers shoot for sequence sweep at Pittsburgh

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 / 03:01 AM MDT
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 / 03:01 AM MDT

It might be hard to glean by the Milwaukee Brewers’ position atop the National League Central. It certainly hasn’t been evident in their ongoing series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

However, the Brewers have been pitching-reliant to the point that they wanted to add offense before the Friday trade deadline. Help in that area could arrive as early as Thursday’s series finale against in Pittsburgh.

During the Brewers’ 7-3 win over the Pirates on Wednesday, Milwaukee acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Escobar from the Arizona Diamondbacks for two minor league position players.

“We are excited to add Eduardo to our team,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “His veteran presence, offensive ability and positional versatility will be a benefit as we continue our push for a playoff berth and postseason run.”

The Brewers, who have won four of five, are enjoying themselves offensively and on the mound against Pittsburgh, which is last in the NL Central and has lost seven of nine. Milwaukee has outscored the Pirates 16-3 through the first two games of the three-game series.

Pittsburgh had not scored in the series until the seventh inning Wednesday, when Rodolfo Castro hit the first of his two homers in the game. The rookie has five big-league hits — all homers.

Castro is the only rookie to do that in baseball’s modern era, according to the Pirates. The switch hitter has done it in 23 plate appearances, with three batting left-handed and two right-handed.

“I don’t really think it’s sustainable, but if he wants to try, he can try,” a smiling Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said of Castro.

There is every chance that Castro, who has played second base the past two games since All-Star Adam Frazier was dealt away, will be back in the lineup Thursday.

In the series finale, Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta (7-3, 2.29 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander Chad Kuhl (3-5, 4.38 ERA).

Peralta has 10 quality starts, and the Brewers are 12-6 in games he has started.

In his most recent outing, on Friday against the Chicago White Sox, Peralta did not earn a decision after he was held to four innings and 51 pitches. He allowed no runs, one hit and walked two while striking out five.

The Brewers opted to give Peralta a shortened start after he pitched in the All-Star Game. He is up to 102 innings for the season, and Milwaukee is hopeful of needing him in the postseason.

Peralta said of the way the club is handling him, “I feel that it’s something smart. A good, smart move that we’re doing this, and I feel comfortable.”

It’s unclear if he will be held to a short night Thursday.

Peralta is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 12 career games against Pittsburgh, just three of them stats. This year, he is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts vs. the Pirates.

Kuhl has won three of his past four decisions but did not get a decision his last time out, on Friday at San Francisco. He gave up three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings with one walk, and he tied a career high with eight strikeouts — including striking out six batters in the first two innings.

Kuhl is 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 10 career games, nine of them starts, against Milwaukee. He is 0-1 with an 8.64 ERA in two starts against the Brewers this year, however.

–Field Level Media

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