MLB: Pirates, Brewers coming off tough losses as series opens

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The Pittsburgh Pirates and host Milwaukee Brewers will turn to solid starters when they open a three-game series on Monday night.

In a matchup of right-handers, Colin Rea (3-0, 3.29 ERA) will go for Milwaukee against Mitch Keller (3-3, 4.41) of Pittsburgh.

The Brewers came up short in their bid to complete a four-game sweep of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, falling 4-3 on Sunday. Milwaukee scored three runs in the first inning but failed to score again against starter Miles Mikolas.

The Cardinals scored single runs in four innings, capped by Michael Siani’s RBI double in the seventh.

Brewers starter Bryse Wilson allowed two runs on five hits in four innings and walked five.

“It was a one-run game, but they left 13 on base,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said of the Cardinals. “We walked too many guys. We didn’t execute. I think offensively and pitching, it wasn’t a great game for us. It’s hard to beat a major league team four times.”

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, lost 5-4 to the visiting Chicago Cubs in 10 innings. Chicago scored three runs in the top of the 10th. Pittsburgh’s Connor Joe answered with a two-run homer to start the bottom half, and Jack Suwinski followed with a walk. But he got no farther than second base.

Rea has been one of the most consistent starters in the Brewers’ injury-depleted rotation. He lasted 4 2/3 innings his last time out, giving up four runs, all in the fifth inning, but did not get the decision in a 6-5 win at Kansas City on Tuesday. Milwaukee is 6-1 in Rea’s starts.

“Overall, just didn’t feel great,” Rea said afterward. “I felt like those first four innings, I just got through. Especially the first three, then the fourth inning, I started to feel a little bit better. The fifth inning, didn’t make great pitches. They made pretty good adjustments to what we were doing … It happened pretty quick.”

Rea is 2-1 with a 5.94 ERA in four career games, including three starts, vs. the Pirates.

William Contreras and Christian Yelich are two of Milwaukee hottest hitters.

Contreras has reached base in 20 consecutive games, hitting .338 with eight doubles, one homer, 10 RBIs and 13 walks over that span. Yelich, who had his third consecutive multi-hit game Sunday, is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with a triple, two RBIs and four runs in four games since coming off the injured list due to a strained lower back.

Keller is coming off the second complete game of his career, a 109-pitch effort in a 4-1 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Angels on May 6. Keller has made 39 consecutive starts of at least five innings, the longest active streak in the majors.

“It’s always special to go a full game,” Keller told MLB.com after his last start. “It’s always good. Guys were making plays behind me. Double plays. Joey (Bart) was great behind the plate. Just a great game, overall.”

Keller is 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA in seven career starts against the Brewers. He has faced them once this season, allowing four runs in five innings without a decision in a 7-5 loss on April 25.

Oneil Cruz homered in five at-bats on Sunday for Pittsburgh. Over his last 18 games, he is hitting .344 (21-for-61) with five doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs.

–Field Level Media

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