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Crew struggles to support Chase in G1 loss

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Saturday morning that it seems like the Brewers have "had trouble scoring runs in [PNC] Park" over the past couple years.

Milwaukee's offensive woes in the Pirates' ballpark continued in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon as Chase Anderson surrendered back-to-back home runs in the first inning and the Brewers were unable to overcome the deficit in a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh. Milwaukee extended its losing streak to a season-high-tying four games, as it has lost six of its past eight.

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PITTSBURGH -- Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Saturday morning that it seems like the Brewers have "had trouble scoring runs in [PNC] Park" over the past couple years.

Milwaukee's offensive woes in the Pirates' ballpark continued in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon as Chase Anderson surrendered back-to-back home runs in the first inning and the Brewers were unable to overcome the deficit in a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh. Milwaukee extended its losing streak to a season-high-tying four games, as it has lost six of its past eight.

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Just how quiet has the Brewers' offense been in Pittsburgh over the past two years? Dating back to the start of last season, they've now plated 34 runs over 15 games (2.27 runs per game) at PNC Park while posting a 4-11 record.

"With our offense, we felt like we were going to score some more runs, but you've got to tip your cap," Anderson said. "Their team made some good pitches when they needed to, and the bullpen's been pitching pretty good."

Video: MIL@PIT: Brewers get strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out DP

With one out in the opening frame, Anderson hung a two-seam fastball in the center of the strike zone to Starling Marte that resulted in a 391-foot blast to center field. Seven pitches later, the right-hander served up a four-seamer to Gregory Polanco, who belted it to right field to put the Brewers in a quick two-run hole.

"I think [I threw] five strikes to start the game, and I felt pretty good," Anderson said. "Then I cut that two-seamer over the plate instead of sinking it. He hit it out. I've got to understand that when I have the count in my favor, to go farther in. And then with Polanco, he just kind of saw everything."

Anderson settled in considerably after the second homer, scattering four singles and finishing the day with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.

The Brewers began to break through offensively against right-hander Ivan Nova in the fifth. Tyler Saladino led off the inning with a single up the middle, and two batters later, Keon Broxton slapped a one-out single to center field. Broxton later came around to score on Christian Yelich's RBI single to right field to cut Milwaukee's deficit in half.

Video: MIL@PIT: Yelich plates Broxton with a single to right

Lorenzo Cain followed suit with a single of his own to load the bases with two outs for Travis Shaw. Pirates right-hander Richard Rodriguez struck out Shaw to end the threat, however, and the Brewers were unable to put a runner in scoring position for the remainder of the game.

Milwaukee's bullpen continued to shine as right-handers Taylor Williams and Corbin Burnes combined to allow just one hit over 2 2/3 innings.

"We've had a really good first half as a team," Anderson said. "I know we're all kind of in a slump right now as a team, but if we can come out and try to finish these next two games, finish on a strong note, that's kind of our goal now."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Wasted opportunities: After starting the day 1-for-2 at the plate, Shaw stepped into the batter's box in the fifth inning, having gone 12-for-16 with three home runs in his career against Nova. Shaw didn't get a chance to face him with the bases loaded, however, as the Pirates lifted Nova and instead sent out Rodriguez, who struck out Shaw on five pitches.

Video: MIL@PIT: Rodriguez K's Shaw to leave the bases loaded

SOUND SMART
Saturday's Game 1 loss marked just the second time this season the Brewers have lost four games in a row. The first time came when they were swept in a four-game series with the Cubs from April 26-29.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With one out in the third inning, Anderson served a two-seam fastball and Marte launched a towering fly ball to right-center field. Cain ranged back to his left, sprinting at 29.4 mph to cover 104 feet in 5.2 seconds for a five-star catch, according to Statcast™.

Video: MIL@PIT: Cain robs Marte with a tough running grab

UP NEXT
Left-hander Brent Suter (8-5, 4.53 ERA) will be on the mound for Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Pirates. Righty Clay Holmes (0-1, 7.11 ERA) will start for Pittsburgh.

Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com.

Milwaukee Brewers, Chase Anderson, Christian Yelich