PITTSBURGH ( Associated Press) — Backup catcher Michael Perez had three home runs, rookies Onil Cruz and Jack Suwinsky hit back-to-back shots as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7 on Thursday night.
It was the first multi-homer game of Perez’s five-year career. He also doubled the home run total of his season.
Perez broke the 3-3 draw in the fourth innings with two runs off Brent Sutter (1-2). The backup catcher added another two-run homer in the sixth and made it 6-4 before reconnecting for a single shot in the eighth, taking the lead to 8-4.
The Pirates’ Brian Reynolds exploded a day after a three-homer game in a win in Washington.
Perez scored a career high for the hit with 4 for 5 and raised his batting average to .169. He finished with five RBIs as the Pirates ended their eight-game losing streak against Milwaukee the previous season.
The Brewers scored three runs in the ninth inning to level 8-7. Willie Adams hit an RBI double, Rowdy Tellez drove into a run with a ground out and Colton Wong hit a two-out run-scoring single to first baseman Michael Chavis.
Rookie Yerry de los Santos then relieved David Bedner with first and third place runners and Luis Urius retired on a pop fly to save his second career, both coming in the previous two days.
Cruz and Suwinsky took the Pirates 3–0 with a second inning win. In 2008, he became the first Pittsburgh rookie since Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche to go back-to-back.
Cruz’s shot measured 431 feet and Suvinsky’s 412 feet. Suvinsky was 3 for 2 with a walk.
Pittsburgh ended June with 44 homes, the most in a calendar month since 2007.
JT Brubaker (2-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings. He hit a six and went for two.
Andrew McCutchen scored two doubles from his three hits, driving in two runs, but the NL couldn’t stop the Central-leading Brewers’ four-game winning streak from coming to an end. The 2013 NL MVP has hit .350 in his last 22 games after a 1-for-40 slide.
Wong, Christian Yelich and Jess Peterson added two hits each for Milwaukee. Adams scored two runs.
Brewers starter Adrian Houser left the game in the third inning with a right elbow stiffness. He was charged with three runs in 2 1/3 innings.
After running Daniel Vogelbach with an out, Houser was visited on the mound by manager Craig Counsell and an athletic trainer. Houser then left after a brief conversation and Sutter relieved him.
Houser has struggled in recent weeks. Prior to Thursday, he had gone 1-4 in his last six games with a 6.54 ERA. He is 4-8 with 4.72 ERA on aggregate this season.
The Brewers rallied to tie the score, after the Pirates’ side led 3-0 on homers after one homer. Yelich scored a home run in the third innings and scored on Adams’ groundout and Umar Narvez hit an RBI double in the fourth.
Perez’s first homer put the Pirates ahead for good and his second, which came from Jason Alexander, got the Brewers within a run after Luis Ureas’ ground-out in sixth place. Perez then capped his big game by joining up against Jandal Gustav.
All three home runs were taken to the right-field stand.
Brewers: Rookie LHP Aaron Ashby (swelling of left arm) is on track to activate from the injured list starting Saturday against the Pirates. … CF Jonathan Davis (back/ribs) was not in the lineup after taking a spectacular diving catch in Wednesday’s win over Tampa Bay. He was available outside the bench in case of emergency.
Pirates: INF/OF Tucupita Marcano was activated from the COVID-19 IL and named for the assignment after hitting .167 in 18 games to INF Yu Chang with a home run. … Bednar did not pitch on Saturday due to a stiffness in his lower back.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burns (6-4, 2.41) starts Friday night. The current NL Cy Young Award winner has won his last three matches with a 2.18 ERA.
Pirates: RHP Ronci Contreras (2-1, 2.76) has the best ERA in the major leagues, having made at least seven starts this season.
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