MILWAUKEE (AP) – Eduardo Escobar made a first impression on Milwaukee fans in his first home game as a brewer.
Escobar hit a triple homer and an RBI triple to underpin Eric Lauer’s five shutout innings in the Brewers’ 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
“I’m so happy to have a great game today because people may have seen me with different teams, but it’s different when they see you with the home team,” said Escobar, who on Wednesday about a deal with the Brewers came Arizona diamond markers. “I’m so happy that I had a good game. I will go on every day to come here with my best energy every day and help the team win. That’s the most important.”
Escobar’s two-out triple against Kyle Keller in the sixth extended the Brewers’ lead to 2-0. He followed suit by sending a 421-foot drive against Nick Mears in the seventh for his 24th home of the season to the right.
He also went twice to hit base on each of his four record appearances.
“It adds a professional presence to a really good line-up from both sides of the record,” said Pirates manager Derek Shelton. “He just has a very reassuring presence when he’s in the box.”
The Brewers victory had a bittersweet ending.
Milwaukee’s John Axford entered the game with a standing ovation in the ninth inning when he made his first Major League appearance since 2018, but he only pulled back one of the five thugs he faced before hitting one Elbow injury that requires an MRI.
The Brewers had acquired Axford from the Toronto Blue Jays earlier that day. He last served for Brewers from 2009 to 2013 and still holds the franchise record for saves in one season.
“It’s unfortunate,” said manager Craig Counsell. “The fact that he brought himself back here was an honor for him. They want the story to be good every night. Sometimes there are also some unfortunate stories. “
Pittsburgh trailed 6-0 to move into ninth place but put the tieing run on the record after Axford and Brad Boxberger both issued base-loaded walks. Boxberger ended the comeback attempt by defeating Phillip Evans to score his fourth save of six opportunities.
Bryse Wilson (2-4) worked five innings and allowed only one run in his Pirates debut, but the Brewers feasted on Pittsburgh’s bullpen after his departure.
Wilson came to the Pirates along with minor league pitcher Ricky DeVito in a Friday trade with Atlanta.
“I’m just trying to get into the new situation with a completely open mind,” said Wilson. “Good restart. Good reset. Keep improving my craft and just putting the team in a situation where they win every time we go out. So far it’s been a good transition. “
Lauer (4-4) only allowed three hits, crossed three and didn’t leave anyone. He also hit a punch. In his last six appearances, Lauer has given up just five runs over 31 1/3 innings.
“He’s done a great job for us all year,” said Counsell. “He was consistent.”
The Brewers finally took the lead in the third inning. Lorenzo Cain started with an infield single, stole second, moved up to third place with Lauer’s colorful hit and scored a goal with Kolten Wong’s victim fly.
Milwaukee opened the game with two rallies for two against Pirates Relievers.
The Brewers had two outs and none in the sixth before Omar Narváez walked and hit Escobar’s triple in the right corner. Keller later took Tyrone Taylor out on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 3-0.
Mears’ troubles began in the seventh round when Wong hit a single-out single that tore the right-handed man’s leg. Mears later gave up a three-run shot at Escobar.
“It really wasn’t the comebacker,” said Shelton. “The comebacker hit him on the back of the thigh. He twisted his ankle on the way down and we checked that. The longer he was out there, the more it stiffened. It was more that he was rolling his ankle than that he was hit by the line drive. When he withdrew to play the ball, he twisted his ankle. “
Brewers closer Josh Hader and Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl went on the COVID-19 injured list after both tested positive.
Milwaukee reinstated utility man Jace Peterson from the injured list and selected infielder Pablo Reyes to Triple-A Nashville.
The pirates called pitcher Shea Spitzbarth from Triple-A Indianapolis. Spitzbarth eased 1 1/3 innings goalless on Monday in his first appearance in the Major League.
That three-game streak continues with a right-handed matchup on Tuesday night as Max Kranick (1-2, 7.31 ERA) for Pittsburgh and Adrian Houser (7-5, 3.69) for Milwaukee start in the pitches.
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