Feliz exits with sore arm, Pirates lose fifth straight
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates missed a chance to pick up ground in the NL wild-card race. They might have also lost their top set-up reliever.
Struggling rookie Orlando Arcia had three hits, including a tiebreaking single in Milwaukee’s four-run eighth inning, and the Brewers beat Pittsburgh 7-4 on Saturday night to extend the Pirates’ losing streak to five games.
Arcia grounded a bases-loaded single into right field against Felipe Rivero, lifting the Brewers to a 3-2 lead. Pinch-hitter Manny Pina followed with a two-run single and Keon Broxton capped the big inning with an RBI single as Milwaukee won its third straight following a six-game losing streak.
Neftali Feliz (4-2) was charged with two runs, retiring only one of three batters before leaving with right arm discomfort. He has a 3.52 ERA in 62 games to go with 61 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .207 batting average.
“I got no indication other than he had some pain and some discomfort,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”
Arcia, considered the Brewers’ top prospect entering the season, raised his batting average to .206 in 29 games since making his major league debut Aug. 1.
Milwaukee slugger Chris Carter had four hits, including a two-run drive off Ivan Nova in the sixth inning for his 31st homer. He had gone hitless in 10 at-bats in his previous three games.
Broxton, a rookie who was acquired from the Pirates in an offseason trade, also had three hits and swiped two bases.
“I don’t have any hard feelings toward the Pirates,” Broxton said. “They’re the ones that got my big league career started last year. I can’t hold a grudge against them but it does feel good to come in with my new team and show that I can do some things to help my new team win some games.”
The Pirates rallied for two runs in the eighth inning to cut the deficit to 6-4. Starling Marte hit a 434-foot home run to the batter’s eye in center field off Corey Knebel and pinch hitter John Jaso added an RBI single.
But Blaine Boyer got Josh Harrison to hit into an inning-ending double play and Carter added an RBI single in the ninth. Tyler Thornburg got three outs for his eighth save.
The Pirates remained 2 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card. The Cardinals lost 9-1 at Cincinnati.
The Pirates left nine runners on base and went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
“We have to find ways to score runs,” Hurdle said. “We’re getting opportunities to score runs. We need to find a way to have that at-bat we need, pass the baton. The pitcher is the one in trouble. Get that good at-bat, hit the ball hard where it’s pitched, keep it simple and go on.”
Carlos Torres (3-3) got the win despite allowing Andrew McCutchen’s 19th homer in the seventh inning, tying it at 2.
Marte had three hits and Harrison added two.
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson allowed only one run in 5 1/3 innings despite six walks. He gave up four hits and struck out four.
Nova surrendered two runs and five hits in six innings with six strikeouts and one walk.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (elbow inflammation) threw 30 fastballs before the game, the first time he had worked off a mound since going on the DL on Aug. 25 with elbow inflammation.
LONG TIME COMING
Pirates left-hander Kelvin Marte made his major league debut after spending 10 years in the minor leagues and struck out 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun to end the eighth inning, though he also walked a batter and gave up Broxton’s RBI single. The Pirates selected the 28-year-old’s contract from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (7-11, 4.92 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday in the finale of the three-game series. The Pirates beat him last Sunday at Milwaukee, handing Anderson his first loss in eight starts since July 9.
Pirates: LHP Steven Brault (0-1, 3.86 ERA) will make his fourth career start.