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Brewers win 7-4 by capitalizing on Pirates' control problems

Christian Yelich hit a bases-loaded double and Pittsburgh relievers issued three consecutive bases-loaded walks in a five-run seventh inning that helped the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pirates 7-4 on Friday night.

The Brewers tied a franchise record by drawing six walks in the seventh-inning rally that put them ahead for good. They also walked six times in an inning May 19, 1977, against Toronto and Sept. 21, 2006, against San Francisco.

Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a two-run homer, and Ben Gamel and Gregory Polanco added solo shots for the Pirates, who lost their fifth straight. Pittsburgh pitchers issued a total of 11 walks.

Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich hits a two-run scoring double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Yelich’s hit off Clay Holmes (2-1) broke a 2-2 tie after he delivered what initially looked like a slow-rolling single up the middle. But he kept running and made it to second for a two-run double.

Pittsburgh’s inability to throw strikes helped the Brewers add insurance runs as they won for the 12th time in 14 games. The Brewers and Chicago Cubs are tied for first place in the NL Central.

After striking out Avisaíl García and walking Omar Narváez intentionally to load the bases with two outs, Holmes walked Willy Adames unintentionally to extend to Milwaukee’s lead to 5-2.

Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich reacts after hitting a two-run scoring double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Trevor Cahill replaced Holmes and walked Jace Peterson and Jackie Bradley Jr. to bring home two more runs.

Hayes’ homer to left-center off Koby Milner cut the Brewers’ lead to 7-4 in the eighth.

Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff (5-2) gave up the homers to Gamel and Polanco, but allowed only two other hits in a seven-inning stint that brought his ERA to 1.52. He struck out five and didn’t walk anyone.

Pittsburgh Pirates' Erik Gonzalez can't handle the throw as Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich slides safely into second for a two-run scoring double during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

This was the first time Woodruff had allowed multiple homers in a 2021 appearance.

Josh Hader pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 15th save in as many opportunities.

Pirates starter Chase De Jong allowed two runs and four hits over five innings. He struck out two and walked four.

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Sam Howard throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: 1B Colin Moran was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game after a pitch hit him on the right hand Wednesday, but he did enter the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Brewers: Manager Craig Counsell said 3B Travis Shaw’s dislocated left shoulder likely will keep the 31-year-old unavailable until sometime in August.

Pittsburgh Pirates' Gregory Polanco is congratulated after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

ATTANASIO ENCOURAGED

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio spoke to reporters before Friday’s game and discussed his encouragement over how the team has overcome early season injuries.

Attanasio had plenty of praise for a starting rotation headed by Woodruff, Corbin Burnes (3-4, 1.97 ERA) and Freddy Peralta (6-1, 2.25).

Pittsburgh Pirates' Ben Gamel makes a running catch on a ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers' Brandon Woodruff during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

“We made the decision three years ago to move these guys into the rotation, and there were some bumps in the road as everyone knew,” said Attanasio, who has been owner since 2005. “This was the hope, that we’d get this trio of guys to come together and to pitch like this, I think they’re three of the top starters in the league. It’s really fun, and maybe the best pitching we’ve had since I’ve owned the team on the whole.”

UP NEXT

These two NL Central foes continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee. Scheduled starters are Chad Kuhl (0-3, 5.61) for the Pirates and Burnes for the Brewers.

Milwaukee Brewers' Jace Peterson slides safely past Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Michael Perez during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. Peterson scored from third on a bunt by Brandon Woodruff. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

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Milwaukee Brewers' Omar Narvaez slides safely past Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Michael Perez during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. Narvaez scored from second on a hit by Jackie Bradley Jr.. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Milwaukee Brewers' Jackie Bradley Jr. hits an RBI single during the second inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday, June 11, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)