The visiting Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates will decide their weekend series Sunday after an interesting turn of events in the first two games.
Following a rainout of Friday’s game, the teams split a doubleheader Saturday that seemingly showed a split personality.
Pittsburgh won the first game 14-4 on 19 hits to end an eight-game losing streak. Milwaukee, which had its four-game winning streak halted in that game, came back for a 6-0 win in the second game.
“Some of that is just baseball; some of that is that (Brewers Game 2 starter Aaron) Ashby’s got a good arm, man,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of the stark contrast between the two games.
Milwaukee gets bragging rights to any momentum after winning the second game, and first baseman Jace Peterson said it was also affirming to bounce back from such a stinker.
“I feel like that’s the sign of a good team,” said Peterson, who had an RBI single and walked and scored in the second game after saving some bullpen arms by pitching a mop-up inning in the first game.
“You can put the bad ones behind you and come out and get a win the next game. Definitely big.”
The Brewers, trying to stiff-arm the rest of the National League Central as they sit atop the division, will be going for their second straight series win and sixth series win in their past seven.
The Pirates, last in the NL Central, in contrast to Milwaukee, just needed a win Saturday.
“To break out and have a game like (that), kind of get the energy back, that fun baseball feeling, it’s huge for us,” said Kevin Newman, who had four doubles in the opener.
In the finale of both the weekend series and the season series between the clubs — the Brewers lead 13-5 — Milwaukee left-hander Eric Lauer (4-4, 3.50 ERA) is expected to face Pittsburgh left-hander Dillon Peters (0-0, 0.00 ERA).
Neither team announced those starters until after Saturday’s games.
Lauer, who has been on the COVID-19 injured list, rejoined the Brewers Friday in Pittsburgh and was eligible to be activated but was not. It’s presumed that will happen Sunday.
Lauer’s past two starts have come against the Pirates, a win Aug. 2 when he gave up three hits in five scoreless innings, and a no-decision July 28 when he gave up a run and two hits in three innings of relief.
He also beat them July 3 on one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Overall, Lauer is 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA in seven career appearances, six of them starts, against Pittsburgh.
This will be Peters’ 2021 debut and his debut with the Pirates, who acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels for cash July 19 and assigned him to Triple-A Indianapolis. He is expected to be promoted Sunday.
Peters is 7-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 31 career games, 24 of them starts, with Miami and the Angels over the previous four seasons.
With Indianapolis, Peters had a 1.50 ERA in five games, including two starts.
“Really good stuff from the left side. I’m really excited to watch him throw (Sunday),” said Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller, who watched Peters during a recent stint in Triple-A.
Peters is 0-2 with a 12.96 ERA in two career starts against Milwaukee.
–Field Level Media