Brewers can’t turn opportunities into runs in 4-2 loss to Pirates

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers stranded 11 runners on base, while Gregory Polanco drove in two runs to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-2 win Monday night at Miller Park.

Polanco went 4-for-4 at the plate, including RBI doubles off Brent Suter and Josh Hader. He also sparked the Pittsburgh offense with his base-running, scoring the tying run in the fifth inning.

The fifth inning was a concerning one for Milwaukee, with catcher Stephen Vogt leaving with neck and knee injuries following a home-plate collision with Pirates starter Chad Kuhl. But the Brewers were also concerned with the plays that got away from them.

“We had plenty of opportunities,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was a good ball game. We had some rallies going, the bases loaded a couple times.”

The sixth inning might have been Milwaukee’s best chance to regain the lead, with two runners on base, two outs in the inning, and Jesus Aguilar prepared to deliver the pinch-hit, go-ahead run. Aguilar made good on the situational hit, but with Manny Piña rounding third base, Polanco launched a run-stopping ball from the outfield to keep the game tied and end the inning.

Milwaukee’s Suter lasted into the fifth inning, allowing seven hits and two earned runs. Even he couldn’t deny Polanco the recognition he deserved for his role in Pittsburgh’s win.

“They did a good job of hitting some pitches that were not necessarily bad pitches. You got to tip your hat to them, and Polanco had a heck of a night, so you got to tip your hat to him, as well.”