Tag at home plate caps Brewers’ 4-3 victory over Pirates

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Willy Adames couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

The Milwaukee Brewers shortstop had just taken a throw from right fielder Andrew McCutchen when he realized Pittsburgh’s Kevin Newman was trying to score the tying run all the way from first on Daniel Vogelbach’s two-out, ninth-inning single.

“He really caught me off guard,” Adames said. “Obviously I thought he was not going.”

But he didn’t let his surprise lead to panic. Adames easily threw out Newman at the plate to seal the Brewers’ 4-3 victory over the Pirates on Friday night.

Newman was perhaps two-thirds of the way to the plate when catcher Victor Caratini received Adames’ throw.

“He was basically touching third base when I turned around, so I had a lot of time,” said Adames, who also hit a seventh-inning homer. “I didn’t try to rush it and tried to make a good throw.”

Newman and Pirates manager Derek Shelton said after the game that third-base coach Mike Rabelo had sent Newman home. The Pirates had leadoff hitter Ke’Bryan Hayes on deck.

Shelton noted that the ball looked high as it came out of McCutchen’s hand.

“Mike’s done a nice job over there at third and he’s made good decisions all year long,” Shelton said. “He got aggressive because of where he saw the throw coming out of (McCutchen’s) hand, but it ended up coming down and Willy made a good throw to the plate.”

The Pirates trailed 4-2 when they started their ninth-inning comeback attempt against Brewers closer Josh Hader.

Diego Castillo drew a leadoff walk and Newman’s one-out single put runners on the corners. After Oneil Cruz struck out looking, Vogelbach hit an RBI single that appeared likely to put the tying run on third.

That changed when Newman got the sign to keep on running.

“I figured maybe they kicked it or something happened out there,” Newman said. “My back is to the play, so I’m kind of just going off what I see.”

Hader earned his 26th save in 27 opportunities, though he has allowed a run in each of his last three appearances.

“Josh picks us up so many days and has had such a great season,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s had a little stretch where he’s given up some runs, and it’s our job to pick him up. So we made a nice defensive play at the end of the game to pick him up.”

Aaron Ashby and four Brewers relievers combined to allow just six hits.

Ashby (2-6) lasted five innings and struck out three while allowing three hits, two runs and two walks in his second start since coming off the injured list. That represented a major step forward for Ashby, who had given up 18 runs over 18 2/3 innings in his last four appearances.

The Brewers took the lead for good by scoring twice in the fourth inning off JT Brubaker (2-8).

Milwaukee trailed 2-1 when McCutchen drew a leadoff walk and scored on Kolten Wong’s triple into the right-field corner. Jace Peterson hit a bases-loaded single to center that brought home Wong.

Castillo put the Pirates ahead in the top of the fourth with a two-out, two-run homer.

Adames extended Milwaukee’s lead to 4-2 in the seventh by sending a 1-1 slider from Yerry De Los Santos into the left-field stands. The homer was Adames’ 17th, tying Rowdy Tellez for the team lead.

But it was his throw and reaction on the game’s final play that made the difference Friday.

“Your natural clock as a middle infielder tells you that there’s not going to be a play,” Counsell said. “So you turn around and look. That’s what he did. Then, obviously, you have to get ready to throw it. And he made a perfect throw.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: Newman was reinstated from the 60-day injured list and played for the first time since April 26 after recovering from a strained right groin. Newman, who had played shortstop before his injury, started at second base Friday. Shelton said Newman will play both positions.

Brewers: Counsell said RHP Adrian Houser won’t return until sometime after the All-Star break. Houser hasn’t pitched since June 30 due to an elbow injury.

HONORING YOUNG FAN

The Brewers placed a ceremonial jersey in their dugout Friday to honor an 8-year-old fan of the team who was wounded during the July Fourth mass shooting in a Chicago suburb.

Cooper Roberts was shot in the chest at a parade in Highland Park, Illinois, that left seven dead. His family said his spine was severed and he is paralyzed from the waist down. The Brewers hung a jersey in their dugout with the name Roberts and Christian Yelich’s jersey number, 22.

UP NEXT

RHP Zach Thompson (3-6, 4.42 ERA) starts for the Pirates and RHP Brandon Woodruff (7-3, 3.95) pitches for the Brewers as this three-game series continues Saturday afternoon.

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