MILWAUKEE — Garrett Mitchell hit a tying homer in the eighth inning and Keston Hiura hit a game-ending shot in the ninth as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Monday night.
Hiura, who replaced injured first baseman Rowdy Tellez in the fourth, hit a two-run homer off reliever Wil Crowe (5-8) that bounced off the top of the left-field wall. Willy Adames led off the ninth with a single for the Brewers, leading Hiura to the plate with no outs.
Hiura wasn’t sure the ball had cleared the fence as he started running around the bases.
“I had to ask the second base umpire if he was out,” Hiura said.
Mitchell, who started his second game in the majors after being recalled from Triple-A Nashville late last week, hit his first career home run, a two-run shot 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 the 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 kinds of situations and having the chance to help the team win. It’s a blessing,” Mitchell said. “It was a wonderful experience. I passed out for a second, but it was amazing.”
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 on Saturday. He also walked, stole a base and scored the Brewers’ first run on Monday.
Devin Williams (6-3) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the win.
The Brewers, sitting just outside the NL wild-card bracket, won their third straight game 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 coaxes and coaxes you into doing a little bit more.”
Milwaukee snapped a five-game losing streak against the Pirates, who are last in the division at 48-80. Pittsburgh lost for the fourteenth time in 17 games.
The Brewers broke through in the third against starter Bryse Wilson. Adames started with a single that scored a run. After Christian Yelich was cut off 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 came back in the fifth against Corbin Burnes. Jason Delay drove in Pittsburgh’s first run with a single and Oneil Cruz followed with a three-run homer into the right field seats.
Cruz, who entered the game batting .199, has hit six of his 11 home runs this season against the Brewers, and 14 of his 33 RBIs have also come against Milwaukee.
Rodolfo Castro hit a solo homer off Burnes in the sixth to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to 5-3.
Burnes, the NL Cy Young Award winner last year, allowed eight hits and five runs in six innings. He walked one, struck out five and threw two wild pitches.
AGAINST ALL 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 many times in my life that I won’t be able to do it,” he said. “They don’t think I’ll get very far and that diabetes could 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.”
LOCATING THE RAPTOR
Brewers manager Craig Counsell tried to call in a reliever but had to improvise when he realized the bullpen phones weren’t working. He struck a bird of prey-like pose (Brent Suter has long been known as The Raptor) to get the pitcher’s attention.
“It could be the background image on my phone,” Suter said. “The phone broke and we were wondering is it me, Hoby (Milner) or maybe even (Taylor) Rogers? But I assumed it was me. I was ready to go. I will cherish that image forever.”
Pirates: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes did not start due to a routine rest day, manager Derek Shelton said. Hayes came on as a pinch hitter in the eighth and stayed in the game.
Brewers: Tellez left with a sore right knee after singleing and scoring from second on Renfroe’s third-inning double. … RHP Adrian Houser, who returned to the starting rotation last week after missing nearly eight weeks with 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 main farm club. INF Kevin Padlo cleaned up waivers and was sent straight to Indianapolis.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (4-10, 4.50 ERA) allowed seven runs (two earned) in 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 only start against the Pirates this year was in relief on June 30, when he allowed two runs in two innings.