MILWAUKEE — Colin Moran hit an early three-run homer, then had an RBI double in the 10th inning that sent the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 on Sunday.
The Pirates withstood a two-homer performance from the Brewers' Daniel Vogelbach to earn their first series win in Milwaukee since September 2018. Pittsburgh has won two of three in each of its last three series to recover from an early six-game skid.
Pittsburgh's Bryan Reynolds and Milwaukee's Avisaíl García also homered.
“Obviously it's great to win series," said Reynolds, who scored the go-ahead run. “We had a rough start. To answer back the way we have, speaks volumes for who we are as a team. We'll just keep it going."
The Pirates were 2-11 in Milwaukee from 2019-20.
Moran hit a leadoff double off J.P. Feyereisen (0-1) in the 10th to bring home Reynolds from second base.
Richard Rodríguez (1-0) earned the win with two innings of perfect relief.
Rodríguez has allowed one hit, one walk and no runs in 6 1/3 innings this season. Pirates manager Derek Shelton felt comfortable giving Rodríguez a second inning in part because the right-hander hadn't pitched since Tuesday.
“If you watch Richie Rodríguez at all, No. 1, I don't know if he has a pulse,” Shelton said. “No. 2, if you ask him to throw four innings every day, he would do it.”
With Jackie Bradley Jr. on second to start the bottom of the 10th, Rodríguez retired Vogelbach and Garcia on a pair of flyballs before striking out Travis Shaw to seal the victory.
“I was able to get into some good counts today and put some good swings on it,” Vogelbach said. “I wish I had that last at-bat back, being able to get the guy over and give us a chance to tie the game, and I wasn’t able to do that. So, that’s frustrating for myself.”
This back-and-forth game featured two-run homers from each team in the seventh.
Reynolds hit a 3-2 pitch from Brad Boxberger into the back rows of the second deck of the right-field stands to break a 3-all tie in the top half of the inning. Reynolds’ 436-foot drive also scored Adam Frazier, who had led off the inning with a bloop single.
The Brewers tied it back up in the bottom of the seventh. After Bradley reached on a one-out bunt single, Vogelbach homered off Chris Stratton.
Pittsburgh’s bullpen had thrown 11 1/3 straight scoreless innings and had allowed just one run in its last 25 innings before Vogelbach’s drive.
Vogelbach also had a solo homer that helped the Brewers take a 2-0 lead in the first. Moran’s three-run homer in the top of the third put the Pirates in front, but García tied it with a solo shot in the bottom of the third.
Pittsburgh has now won all eight of Chad Kuhl’s career starts against the Brewers.
Kuhl entered the day with a 4-0 career record and 1.73 ERA against the Brewers. He wasn’t quite as sharp Sunday as each of the two starting pitchers – Kuhl and Milwaukee’s Freddy Peralta – allowed three runs over five innings.
Pirates: RHP Cody Ponce was reinstated from the injured list and optioned to the Pirates’ alternate training site in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Brewers: Hitting coach Andy Haines acknowledged OF Christian Yelich is frustrated to be missing this much time early in the season. Yelich went on the injured list Saturday and has missed six straight games with a lower back strain.
“Christian’s a guy that takes so much pride in playing every day,” Haines said. “He does not want to sit. He just never wants a day off. He knows the responsibility he has to people paying to watch him play and to the organization.”
The Pirates are off Monday before opening a three-game series at Detroit on Tuesday. Scheduled starters are LHP Tyler Anderson (1-2, 4.02 ERA) for the Pirates and RHP Michael Fulmer (1-0, 3.00) for the Tigers.
The Brewers open a six-game trip Monday at San Diego. RHP Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 2.12) pitches for the Brewers and RHP Joe Musgrove (2-1, 0.47) starts for the Padres.