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Brewers’ Aaron Ashby, Pirates’ Bryse Wilson aim to quiet bats

Sportsnaut
Apr 17, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Aaron Ashby (26) throws a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Ashby and Bryse Wilson will attempt to bring a sense of normalcy back to the Milwaukee Brewers-Pittsburgh Pirates series when they get the ball from their respective managers Wednesday night.

After the Brewers earned a sweep with 6-1, 5-2 and 4-2 victories in Milwaukee last week, Milwaukee won a 12-8 slugfest on Tuesday in the opener of the Pittsburgh-hosted rematch series.

Brewers shortstop Willy Adames enjoyed a memorable night with four hits, homering twice for the first time in the majors and racking up a career-best seven RBIs.

Afterward, he credited a reunion with the hitting coach from his days in Tampa Bay, Ozzie Timmons, who now holds that role for Milwaukee.

“He knows my strengths, knows my weaknesses. He knows who I am,” Adames said. “He’s going to be there for me.”

Kolten Wong (two hits, three runs), Omar Narvaez (two hits, two RBIs) and Rowdy Tellez (two singles) also contributed big-time to a 14-hit attack, which was required to fend off the Pirates’ 13-hit effort.

Each team totaled just 17 hits in the three-game, head-to-head series last week.

Adames has never gotten a hit off Wilson — going 0-for-4 with a double play — but Wong, Tellez, Tyrone Taylor and Keston Hiura have all homered off the 24-year-old in his three career starts against the Brewers.

Wilson (0-0, 6.35 ERA) has gone 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in those three outings, but he has had a magic touch against the St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs this season, kicking off wins against all three of them.

He allowed three runs in three innings in his most recent start, on Thursday at Chicago, but the Pirates managed to pull out a 4-3 win.

Down 4-1 and 10-4 in the series opener against the visiting Brewers on Tuesday, the Pirates did not go down quietly in a quest for their fourth win in five games. Ke’Bryan Hayes (3-for-3), Daniel Vogelbach (2-for-5) and Kevin Newman (2-for-3) combined for four runs and four RBIs.

Hayes and Newman had a hit apiece when Ashby (0-2, 3.18 ERA) faced the Pirates for the first and only time in the second game of a doubleheader last August. The left-hander allowed just one other hit — but no runs — in four innings, setting the stage for a 6-0 road win.

He struck out four in his four innings.

Ashby, 23, will be making just his second start of the season. He pitched well in his only other start, holding the Cardinals without an earned run in the first four innings of a 6-5 win on April 17.

Ashby will see a different group of Pirates this time around, with Bryan Reynolds and Cole Tucker having gone on the COVID injured list. They were replaced on the roster Tuesday by Jack Suwinski, who went 1-for-5 in his major league debut, and Tucupita Marcano, who had a pinch-hit double but also struck out against Josh Hader for the last out of the game.

Beau Sulser also made his big-league debut for the Pirates, pitching 2 2/3 innings in relief. He yielded two runs, both unearned.

“Both guys did a good job,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said of Suwinski and Sulser. “It’s exciting when you are able to have guys make their major league debuts and they actually perform.”

–Field Level Media