Woodruff dominates as Brewers silence punchless Pirates 3-0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff allowed one hit and struck out 10 while working into the seventh inning as the Brewers beat the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Woodruff (1-1) retired 19 of 21 batters, allowing a swinging bunt single to Phil Evans in the first. Pittsburgh didn’t manage another baserunner until Evans walked leading off the seventh. Woodruff’s stuff was so overpowering the Pirates only hit one ball to the outfield during his 6 1/3 innings, a lazy flyball to left by Gregory Polanco in the fifth.
Woodruff threw 92 of his 61 pitches for strikes against a lineup that is struggling to produce. The Pirates are hitting a majors-worst .171 during their 2-4 start.
Ben Gamel gave Woodruff all the support he would need with a third-inning two-run homer over the right-field seats off Joe Musgrove (0-2). The ball clipped the top of a wall on the concourse. Otherwise, it likely would have ended up in the Allegheny River. Keston Hiura homered in the sixth for the Brewers. Josh Hader worked a perfect ninth for his first save as Milwaukee finished its season-opening trip at 3-3.
Musgrove worked 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. The Brewers punished his two mistakes. Hiura turned a 93-mph fastball into his second home run in as many nights, the ball clearing the fence in right-center field just over the outstretched glove of Pittsburgh’s Jarrod Dyson.
Christian Yelich’s sluggish start continued. The 2018 NL MVP went 0 for 5 and is now 1 for 27 (.037) in his first season since signing a $215 million contract extension.
Brewers: RHP Josh Lindblom felt well enough to get in a core workout on Wednesday, an encouraging sign after exiting his start on Tuesday night with what the team described as back cramps. Manager Craig Counsell expects Lindblom to make his next start as scheduled.
Pirates: The team will continue to monitor Polanco’s status following a COVID-19 scare earlier this month and a lengthy rehab from a left shoulder injury that cost him most of last season. Polanco made his first start in right field on Wednesday. He was a designated hitter in his season debut on Monday and served as a pinch hitter on Tuesday.
Brewers: Milwaukee returns to Miller Park for its home opener on Friday against St. Louis. RHP Brett Anderson will make his debut for the Brewers after missing opening day with a blister on his left index finger.
Pirates: Are off Thursday before heading to Chicago for three games against the Cubs. Trevor Williams (0-1, 7.36 ERA) will try to bounce back from a rough outing in St. Louis last week in his season debut. Williams is 3-6 with a 6.30 ERA in 11 career appearances versus Chicago.