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Apr 25, 2024 2:54 am

Freddy Peralta, Brewers chase split vs. Pirates

Milwaukee Brewers

With an injury-depleted rotation and a struggling offense, the Milwaukee Brewers needed the rest of their pitching staff to step up.

The bullpen did its job on Wednesday. Now the Brewers hope ace Freddy Peralta will come through on Thursday when they try to earn a split against the host Pittsburgh Pirates in the finale of a four-game series.

In Milwaukee’s 3-2 win on Wednesday, five relievers combined to hold off the Pirates. It was the Brewers’ second bullpen game of the season after the group delivered a 1-0 triumph last week against the San Diego Padres.

“The guys are always out there supporting each other and rooting for one another,” reliever Joel Payamps said. “The guys are staying focused out there. It really helps us. It helps with our chemistry out there and helps us perform.”

Peralta (2-0, 1.90 ERA) will hope to limit the bullpen’s workload on Thursday. He is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 20 career appearances, 11 starts, against Pittsburgh. In his past two outings combined, Peralta has allowed just one run on nine hits in 12 innings, with two walks and 18 strikeouts.

While Peralta is hot on the mound, Milwaukee center fielder Blake Perkins has cooled off at the plate. After going 6-for-14 in a four-game stretch last week, he is 0-for-8 in the series against the Pirates. However, he drew a career-high three walks on Wednesday, the first time this season he had more than one in a game.

“Blake’s not been swinging the bat in the last three or four days the way he had earlier in the season,” manager Pat Murphy said, “and to contribute somehow shows that he understands winning.”

The Pirates will get a second crack at trying to win a series for the first time since April 5-7. They won their first three series of the season but went 0-2-2 in the next four.

After scoring four runs in the series-opening win on Monday, Pittsburgh’s offense has managed four total in the past two games combined. Before the set against the Brewers, the Pirates scored just nine runs in a six-game skid, with three of those coming in one game.

The Pirates have left 20 runners on base in the three games against Milwaukee. Yet despite their struggles to cross home plate, they feel as if the runs are soon to come. They have put up 20 hits against the Brewers, including 16 in the first two games.

“I think you guys would probably agree, we’re pretty close,” second baseman Jared Triolo said. “A lot of really good swings in this series so far. Yeah, we’re close. One more (on Thursday).”

The Pirates have shown they can put up the numbers. They scored at least six runs in each game of their five-game winning streak to open the season.

“We have a talented bunch,” hitting coach Andy Haines told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “So that’s really what it’s about, is just meeting the demands of the major league game. And you don’t learn that until you go through enough major league games. So that’s the fun part. That’s the challenging part. It’s exciting. That’s kind of what we all look forward to here in the next 140 games in front of us.”

Right-handed pitcher Mitch Keller (2-2, 4.80 ERA) is expected to get the nod on the mound for the Pirates. Keller is 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers.

–Field Level Media

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