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Contreras' 3-run homer leads Brewers over Pirates 6-3, maintains share of NL Central lead

Colin Rea (5-4) won his second straight start, allowing two runs and five hits in a season-high 6 2/3 innings.
Brewers Pirates Baseball
Posted at 8:29 AM, Jul 04, 2023

PITTSBURGH (AP) — William Contreras hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the third inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 on Sunday to win their third straight series.

Colin Rea (5-4) won his second straight start, allowing two runs and five hits in a season-high 6 2/3 innings. With runners on second and third in the fifth, he retired Andrew McCutchen on an inning-ending groundout.

“There hasn’t been a ton of swing and miss the last two games,” Rea said. “But we’re getting contact early and that’s a recipe for going deeper into the game.”

Hoby Milner entered with a 3-2 lead in the seventh and got Connor Joe to hit an inning-ending flyout.

Elvis Peguero allowed Josh Palacios’ RBI double in the eighth, and Devin Williams retired three straight batters for his 17th save in 18 chances.

Milwaukee (45-39) won seven of 10 on its trip and remained tied with Cincinnati for the NL Central lead. Milwaukee also went 7-3 during a 10-game trip in April, as the Brewers won at least seven games on a 10-game road trip for the seventh time in franchise history.

“We pitched well and we have a lot of guys contributing to that,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It takes a lot of guys on your roster when you go through a trip like this and we got a big effort from Colin.”

Pittsburgh (39-44) lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak.

Rich Hill (7-8) gave up three runs and three hits in five innings. The 43-year-old left-hander, who struck out eight and walked two, thought the game came down to the Contreras home run.

“It’s disappointing to put us in that position, especially after we had scored two runs and put us in position to get ahead and to win the game,” Hill said. “Then we go out there and give it up. That wasn’t in the playbook.”

Nick Gonzales, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft, hit his second big league homer, a two-run drive that put Pittsburgh ahead in the second. Palacios doubled twice for the Pirates.

McCutchen went 0 for 4, ending his team-high 20-game on-base streak.

Contreras’ ninth homer put the Brewers ahead 3-2 in the third, a 435-foot drive on a fastball.

“It was one of those moments where I was just looking for good contact,” Contreras said. “You’re looking to do that every day, but when you hit it, you know right away that you got it.”

Milwaukee boosted the lead in the eighth when Brice Turang hit a squib to the left side with runners at the corners and two outs, and reliever Ryan Burucki threw the ball down the right-field line as two runs scored.

“I feel like we all felt a little more comfortable with the runs in the eighth,” Contreras said. “But overall it was a great road trip. We stayed connected and played really well.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: LF Bryan Reynolds was activated from the from 10-day IL after recovering from lower back inflammation and went 0 for 4 in his first big league game since June 19. ... INF Ji Hwan Bae was placed on the 10-day IL with a left ankle sprain. He got hurt during Saturday’s 11-8 loss.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Julio Teheran (2-3, 2.85 ERA) starts Monday’s homestand opener against the Chicago Cubs, who go with LHP Drew Smyly (7-5, 3.96)

Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (9-3, 3.34) opens a trip Monday at the Los Angeles Dodgers.