Gary Sánchez pinch hits for 2-run homer in 8th; Brewers rally for 7-5 win, series split with Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gary Sánchez hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the eighth inning to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and a series split on Thursday.

Sánchez drove an 0-2 sinker at 101.9 mph from Aroldis Chapman (0-2) 371 feet to right with two outs, putting the Brewers ahead 6-5. Two of his three home runs came this series, including on Tuesday when he produced Milwaukee’s lone run in a 2-1 loss.

“He’s the same Chapman from when I knew him at the Yankees,” said Sánchez, a batterymate of Chapman’s with the Yankees from 2016-21. “It’s not easy.”

The Brewers have won six of eight after taking the final two of the four-game series. The Pirates have lost eight of 10 after an 11-5 start.

Oliver Dunn tacked on a seventh run with a single to right off Roansy Contreras in the ninth before Trevor Megill retired the side in order in the bottom half for his first save in the majors.

“It was really a team effort,” Milwaukee manager Pat Murphy said. “Eight or nine of those position players all contributed to the game. Special.”

Jared Koenig (1-0) picked up the win, getting through the seventh unscathed after allowing two hits and a walk.

Joey Bart put Pittsburgh ahead 3-1 in the first with a three-run home run, his third in seven games this season, sent 419 feet to center off a fastball from Freddy Peralta.

It came after William Contreras hit his fifth of the season for Milwaukee in the top half, driving a sinker from Mitch Keller 448 feet into the left field bleachers with an exit velocity of 114.4.

Jake Bauers and Rhys Hoskins tied it 3-all with back-to-back RBI singles in the third before Hoskins gave the Brewers their second one-run lead with a double to left that popped out of the glove of a diving Jack Suwinski in the fifth.

Keller struck out seven in five innings, giving up four runs on six hits with two walks.

“He really struggled with his delivery today,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “I don't know if I've seen him miss on both sides of the plate as much as he did. ... It was just, overall, lack of command. He just looked like he couldn't get in sync.”

Peralta was pulled with two outs in the fifth, walking Bart before allowing the tying run on a double from Suwinski and a soft single to right from Jared Triolo to fall behind 5-4. The Brewers ace allowed five runs on five hits and five walks with five strikeouts.

“I wasn't having the best day today, in general,” Peralta said. “I didn't have the command of any of my pitches today. I tried to get on in the bullpen, but I was feeling it already in the bullpen. I came out to battle and give my best today, but I wasn't able to finish the fifth. That was probably the worst part for me today.”

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Colin Rea (2-0, 2.08) takes the mound Friday as Milwaukee heads home for a three-game set against the Yankees.

Pirates: RHP Quinn Priester (0-1, 8.31) will start on Friday to open a three-game series at San Francisco.

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