MILWAUKEE -- Over the last few months, the Pirates have come to expect lengthy, solid performances from Jameson Taillon (Jamo).Saturday night, though, they needed it.Taking the mound a day after the Pirates' bullpen covered 11 innings in a 15-inning loss, Taillon delivered again, holding the Brewers to a run over
MILWAUKEE -- Over the last few months, the Pirates have come to expect lengthy, solid performances from Jameson Taillon (Jamo).
Saturday night, though, they needed it.
Taking the mound a day after the Pirates' bullpen covered 11 innings in a 15-inning loss, Taillon delivered again, holding the Brewers to a run over six innings before Pittsburgh's offense erupted in the late innings for a 9-1 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park, snapping a four-game losing streak.
"That was a really well-played game by us, from start to finish," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "To bounce back. Show up. They were ready to play."
Nobody was more ready than Taillon (10-9), who didn't walk a batter while striking out eight. He's held opponents to three runs or fewer in each of his last 16 starts, the longest single-season streak by a Pirates pitcher since Jeff Locke did it in 17 straight in 2013, and the third longest run of starts in baseball this season.
Taillon also worked at least six innings for a sixth straight start and for the eighth time in his last nine.
"I knew the team needed innings," Taillon said. "I enjoy that feeling. When the team needs me, that kind of sparks some extra energy. I knew I had probably 100 to 110 [pitches] today when I came to the park."
He finished with 108 pitches, and while the Brewers didn't have much to show for it, they certainly made him work. He threw five or more pitches to 11 of the 21 batters he faced, including a 10-pitch at-bat against Mike Moustakas to lead off the second inning and eight-pitch at-bats to open the third and sixth.
"They were fouling stuff off, taking a lot of good pitches," Taillon said. "I didn't have a lot of three-pitches-or-less outs. Through three innings, I was at 60 pitches and I told myself I needed to get some quick outs and just attack."
Pinch-hitting for Taillon, Adam Frazier (Fraz) opened the seventh with a leadoff walk off Jhoulys Chacin, who'd held Pittsburgh to one run over six innings despite allowing eight hits and a walk in those frames. Frazier moved to third on a double by Starling Marte (Tato) and Chacin intentionally walked Josh Bell (JB) before handing the ball to Dan Jennings with no outs and the bases loaded. Polanco dropped a 1-0 fastball to left for a single, driving in a pair before the Brewers got out of the inning.
Pittsburgh broke the game open in the eighth when Taylor Williams hung a 3-2 slider over the plate that Frazier crushed to right for his sixth home run of the season.
"He came in with a slider and I got a homer," Frazier said. "I don't know how it happened, but it happened."
It was his third since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on July 25. Since then, Frazier is batting .351 (26-76) with a .610 slugging percentage, 11 doubles and 15 RBIs.
"He gives us a shot, like a sixth man in basketball," Hurdle said. "Instant offense when he doesn't start. He had a good swing of the bat for a three-run homer."
With three more runs in the ninth inning, the Pirates have scored 15 through the first two games of the series. They'd scored just 18 total over their previous 11 games and had dropped four in a row coming into Saturday night.
"Our at-bats were competitive. They were clean," Hurdle said. "We had a lot of fight tonight. Again, it was the ability to bounce back."
Polanco came into the game with a team-leading 110 strikeouts on the season but he'd gone 26 consecutive at-bats without a strikeout after his first-inning triple. That streak ended his next time up when when he chased a 1-2 slider from Chacin.
HE SAID IT
"My curveball doesn't usually get hit like that. That just tells me he's in a good spot, to be able to sit back on a curveball and hit to left-center. A bad pitch on me, but usually that's a double or an out. He's a great hitter." -- Taillon, on the 3-2 curveball that Christian Yelich hit for a home run, the only run he allowed
Chris Archer (Flaco Fuerte) will start the finale against the Brewers on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET. Archer left his last start due to left leg discomfort but wasn't bothered by the issue between starts. This will be Archer's second career start vs. Milwaukee, having thrown six innings of one-run ball last season. Chase Anderson will start for the Brewers.
Andrew Wagner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.