Aaron Ashby combined with four relievers on a one-hitter, Tyrone Taylor singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Neither team got a hit until the sixth inning. Ashby’s no-hit bid ended when Bryan Reynolds hit a hard grounder that deflected off the glove of third baseman Mike Brosseau for a single.
Making his second start of the season and sixth of his career, Ashby worked 5 2/3 innings, walking five and striking out six. The rookie left-hander allowed his only run on a double-play grounder in the sixth. Trevor Gott (1-0) came on and struck out Michael Chavis.
Ashby said he never thought seriously about throwing a no-hitter.
“I don’t really consider it until you get six innings, seven innings in and turn that lineup over twice,” he said.
Ashby threw three no-hitters while playing at Crowder College but called them “kind of like fake.”
“They were mercy-rule games,” he said with a smile. “They were five-, six-, seven-inning games. I wouldn’t call them real no-hitters.”
Brad Boxberger, Devin Williams and Josh Hader worked one scoreless inning each. Hader finished for his major league-leading 10th save as NL Central-leading Milwaukee won for the eighth time in 10 games.
The Brewers had four hits on a night when the temperature was 40 degrees at first pitch.
“We pitched well, for sure, and the ball felt like it was going nowhere,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “It didn’t feel like a home run was possible with the way the ball was traveling.”
Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe started the Brewers’ rally in the seventh with back-to-back singles off Wil Crowe (1-1). First baseman Yoshi Tsutsugo then mishandled Rowdy Tellez’s grounder, allowing Yelich to score. Taylor followed by lining a single to left to make it 2-1.
The Brewers made it 3-1 in the ninth when Kolten Wong drew a bases-loaded walk from Sam Howard.
Wong had a one-out double into the left-field corner in the top of the sixth off Bryse Wilson for the Brewers’ first hit. That was the only knock against Wilson, who pitched four innings in relief of opener Dillon Peters.
Wilson had been scheduled to start but the Pirates switched earlier Wednesday to Peters, who made his first start of the season after five relief appearances. He walked one in two-plus innings.
“The things I’ve been doing in the fifth and sixth innings I just did at the start of the game,” said Peters, who is unscored upon in 12 1/3 innings.
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
Brousseau was shaded a few steps toward home plate, anticipating a potential bunt, and was unable to make a play on Reynolds’ grounder. Brousseau couldn’t help but wonder about what might have been.
“I think if we’re at double-play depth, I have a legitimate shot at making the play,” he said. “Something cool could have potentially happened at the end of the day but we’ll be OK. A one-hitter? We’ll take that.”
Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman was placed on the 10-day injured list a day after straining his left groin. He is expected to miss three to five weeks.
Utility player Diego Castillo started at shortstop Wednesday night. Hayes, the primary third baseman, is also expected see time at shortstop after making his professional debut at the position Tuesday following Newman’s injury.
Shortstop Oneil Cruz, the Pirates’ consensus top prospect, is at Triple-A Indianapolis but was hitting .203 with one home run in 15 games going into Wednesday. The 6-foot-7 Cruz made his big league debut with the Pirates during the final weekend of last season.
Brewers: 3B Luis Urias (strained left quadriceps) played nine innings for the first time Tuesday in his third game with Double-A Biloxi on a rehab assignment.
Pirates: Reynolds was reinstated after spending one day on the COVID-19 IL while INF/OF Cole Tucker remained on the list. Reynolds said he had the flu. “I already did COVID in January. Ain’t getting me twice.” ... LHP Anthony Banda (viral illness) played catch a day after being placed on the IL. ... RHP Duane Underwood Jr. (right hamstring strain) has moved his rehab to extended spring training. ... OF Greg Allen (hamstring strain) has started to sprint but is not eligible to be activated from the 60-day IL until June 6.
Brewers RHP Freddy Peralta (0-1, 7.50 ERA) faces LHP Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.86) on Thursday in the finale of the three-game series. Opponents are hitting .271 against Peralta, up from .165 last season. Quintana’s last win came Sept. 5, 2019 for the Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee.
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