Homer-happy Pirates look to flex muscle mass vs. Brewers

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee BrewersJul 9, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Rowdy Tellez (44) hits a home run during the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers will turn to rookie right-hander Tobias Myers in a bid to keep the ball in the ballpark when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

That task might be easier said than done.

Myers (5-3, 3.52 ERA), who has allowed 10 homers in 64 innings this season, will be opposed by left-hander Martin Perez (1-4, 4.85). Perez has faced the Brewers once this season, giving up nine runs on 11 hits — including five homers — in five innings of a 10-2 loss on May 15.

The Pirates hit five homers Tuesday night en route to a 12-2 win over the Brewers in the series opener. Joey Bart’s grand slam highlighted a six-run sixth inning, and Bryan Reynolds, Rowdy Tellez, Jack Suwinski and Joshua Palacios also went deep for Pittsburgh.

“We continued to have good swings and added on throughout the game,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I’m really proud of the whole group. Just really consistent at-bats.”

Pittsburgh’s pitching staff also got a much-needed boost from Quinn Priester, who was activated off the injured list earlier in the day. Priester, who came on in the second, allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking two to get the win.

“We haven’t had one of those games in a while, especially at home,” said Brewers manager Pat Murphy, whose team lost for just the seventh time in its last 29 home games.

“We’ve got to get back to how we win games,” Murphy said.

Milwaukee’s lead in the National League Central has shrunk to four games over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers have lost four of their past five games.

After going 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA in five starts in June, Myers was saddled with the loss in his most recent outing. He allowed four runs in six innings in a 4-3 defeat against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

Myers made his major league debut at Pittsburgh on April 23, allowing just one run on a leadoff homer by Andrew McCutchen in five innings. He took the loss in a 2-1 defeat, however.

Perez allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings Thursday in his most recent start. He did not record a decision in a 3-2, 10-inning loss against St. Louis.

“Good rebound start,” Shelton said. “He executed all of his pitches. I think he gave us 90-plus and did a good job, was able to go out in the eighth and keep the matchup that we liked. But overall, I thought he was really good.”

Perez has lost his last four decisions but has received one run or less of support when he has been in the game in eight of his last nine starts.

Perez is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in four career games, including three starts, against Milwaukee.

Tellez, who spent the previous 2 1/2 seasons with Milwaukee, is batting .366 (15-for-41) with six homers and 12 RBIs over his last 13 games. His homer Tuesday was the 100th of his career.

–Field Level Media