MILWAUKEE (AP) — Garrett Mitchell hit a tying home run in the eighth inning and Keston Hiura connected for a game-ending shot in the ninth as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Monday night.
Hiura, who replaced injured first baseman Rowdy Tellez in the fourth, launched a two-run homer off reliever Wil Crowe (5-8) that bounced off the top of the left-field wall. Willy Adames singled leading off the ninth for the Brewers, bringing Hiura to the plate with nobody out.
Hiura wasn’t sure the ball had cleared the fence as he began to race around the bases.
“I had to ask the second base umpire if it was out,” Hiura said.
Mitchell, starting his second game in the majors after being called up from Triple-A Nashville late last week, belted his first career homer, a two-run drive off Crowe with two outs in the eighth. That earned Mitchell a curtain call from the crowd, which included several family members.
Mitchell said he wants to be trusted in big moments and won’t shy away from those situations.
“When I went up there I was thinking, why not me? I like being in these type of situations and having a chance to help the team win. It’s a blessing,” Mitchell said. “It was an awesome experience. I kind of blacked out for a second, but it was awesome.”
The 2020 first-round draft pick also had a key hit in Sunday’s 9-7 win over the Chicago Cubs in his first major league start. Milwaukee’s top prospect made his first appearance as a defensive replacement Saturday. He also walked, stole a base and scored the Brewers’ first run on Monday.
Devin Williams (6-3) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
The Brewers, sitting just outside the NL wild-card picture, won their third straight and remained six games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.
“You’ve seen what this team has done in previous Septembers,” Hiura said. “When you’re chasing something, it definitely lights a fire under your butt and convinces you and persuades you to do a little bit extra.”
Milwaukee snapped a five-game losing streak to the Pirates, who are last in the division at 48-80. Pittsburgh lost for 14th time in 17 games.
The Brewers broke through in the third against starter Bryse Wilson. Adames got it started with a run-scoring single. After Christian Yelich was cut down at the plate trying to score on Tellez’s single, Hunter Renfroe followed with a two-run double to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.
The Pirates stormed back in the fifth against Corbin Burnes. Jason Delay drove in Pittsburgh’s first run with a single and Oneil Cruz followed by lining a three-run homer into the right-field seats.
Cruz, who entered the game hitting .199, has hit six of his 11 home runs this season against the Brewers, and 14 of his 33 RBIs have also come versus Milwaukee.
Rodolfo Castro lined a solo home run off Burnes in the sixth to extend Pittsburgh’s advantage to 5-3.
Burnes, last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, gave up eight hits and five runs in six innings. He walked one, struck out five and threw two wild pitches.
AGAINST THE ODDS
Garrett said dealing with a potentially troublesome health issue has boosted his confidence on the field.
“I’m a Type 1 diabetic. I’ve been told a lot in my lifetime that I won’t be able to do it,” he said. “They don’t think I’ll go very far and the diabetes may stop me. For me, I just want people to know that if you trust and believe in yourself and do your part, anything is possible. This is just another part of the journey, another part of the story.”
PAGING THE RAPTOR
Brewers manager Craig Counsell tried to summon a reliever but had to improvise when he realized the bullpen phones weren’t working. He struck a raptor-like pose — Brent Suter has long gone by the nickname The Raptor — to get the pitcher’s attention.
“It might be the background image for my phone,” Suter said. “The phone broke and we were wondering is it me, Hoby (Milner) or maybe even (Taylor) Rogers? But I figured it was me. I was ready to go. I’m going to cherish that image forever.”
Pirates: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes didn’t start due to a routine rest day, manager Derek Shelton said. Hayes entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and stayed in the game.
Brewers: Tellez left with right knee soreness after he singled and scored from second on Renfroe’s third-inning double. … RHP Adrian Houser, who returned to the starting rotation last week after being sidelined nearly eight weeks by a right flexor strain, will pitch out of the bullpen for now, Counsell said.
The Pirates recalled OF Jack Suwinski from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned OF/1B Bligh Madris to their top farm club. INF Kevin Padlo cleared waivers and was sent outright to Indianapolis.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (4-10, 4.50 ERA) allowed seven runs (two earned) over 3 2/3 innings in his last start Wednesday. Keller is 0-2 with a 4.40 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers.
Brewers: RHP Jason Alexander (2-1, 5.26) will make his eighth start of the season but first since July 12 at Minnesota. The rookie’s lone outing against the Pirates this year came in relief on June 30, when he gave up two runs in two innings.
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