Lyle Overbay didn’t take it personally.
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle decided to have Edinson Volquez intentionally walk Scooter Gennett, a .287 hitter, to pitch to Overbay with the score tied and runners on second and third in the fourth inning Saturday. With good reason.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ first baseman was hitting just .213.
Overbay came through, hitting a tiebreaking two-run single to center field that made it 4-2 and sent the NL Central-leading Brewers on their way to a 9-3 victory.
Just before Gennett was walked, Khris Davis hit an RBI single to tie the score at 2-2.
“I wasn’t really surprised that they walked Scooter in that situation,” Overbay said. “Volquez has a good sinker and they’re looking to get a double play there. What I need to do there is make sure I don’t swing at a sinker low and away and hit into the double play.”
Milwaukee had lost three of its previous four gamers, including getting routed 15-5 by the Pirates on Friday night.
“This was a good win,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “It feels good to come back the next day and play well. We got some big hits, took advantage of some opportunities they gave us and got solid pitching.”
Matt Garza (4-4) got through six shaky innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time since last July. He allowed five walks and six hits while striking out one, yet limited the Pirates to three runs a day after they scored a season-high.
Rob Wooten, Will Smith and Brandon Kintzler each pitched an inning of scoreless relief.
“Personal wins are nice, but the team winning is what really matters, and all I want to do is keep stacking up those team wins,” Garza said.
Davis and Jonathan Lucroy had two hits each for the NL Central-leading Brewers. Ryan Braun’s two-run double in a four-run eighth inning extended Milwaukee’s lead to 8-3.
Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez had two hits each for Pittsburgh, which committed five errors. First baseman Ike Davis made two of the errors on one play in the first inning when he failed to catch a pickoff throw then threw wildly to second base.
“We gave up a lot of free bases with the errors,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “From a fielding perspective, we were all over the place. We made it a lot tougher on our pitchers than it needed to be.”
Volquez (3-5) lost for the first time in four starts, giving up four runs and four hits in six innings.
“I left a couple of pitches right in the middle of the plate in (the fourth) inning,” Volquez said. “I’ve got to do a better job than that. I let them have a big inning and that was the ballgame.”
Pittsburgh got within 4-3 in the sixth inning on a double play grounder before Milwaukee put the game away in the eighth on Braun’s double and an infield RBI single by Jean Segura. Irving Falu added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Alvarez’s two-run single in the second inning put the Pirates ahead 2-1 after Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly in the first.
The Pirates’ Josh Harrison extended his hitting streak 10 games, tying a career high, with a two-out double in the ninth inning
Notes: Milwaukee placed RHP Tyler Thornburg on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow after the game and recalled RHP Mike Fiers from Triple-A Nashville. . Pittsburgh RHP Gerrit Cole was scratched from his scheduled start Monday night against the Chicago Cubs. LHP Jeff Locke will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and start today against the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo (3-4, 4.08) in the finale of the three-game series. RHP Charlie Morton will start Monday instead of today. . Pittsburgh LF Starling Marte, mired in an 0-for-20 slump, was not in the lineup for a fourth straight game. ... Milwaukee rookie LHP Wei-Chung Wang bruised his right knee Friday night but X-rays showed no broken bones.
Lyle Overbay didn’t take it personally.
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