Contreras has 3 hits as Brewers take advantage of sloppy inning by Pirates in 3-2 victory

PITTSBURGH (AP) — William Contreras had three hits and the Milwaukee Brewers used one big inning to edge the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Wednesday night.

The Brewers took advantage of a sloppy second inning by the Pirates to turn an error, two walks and two hit batters and an RBI single by Contreras into three runs.

Sal Frelick had two hits for Milwaukee, which snapped a two-game skid. Bryan Hudson (2-1) worked 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Joel Payamps overcame a pair of errors in the ninth for his fourth save.

Payamps made the first error, briefly mishandling a comebacker by Edward Olivares that allowed Olivares to reach safely. Frelick, in left field, let a fly ball by Oneil Cruz drop to put two runners on. Payamps then got Jared Triolo to line out then struck out pinch-hitter Andrew McCutchen to end it.

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“Everyone’s going to make errors and, you know, we’re a team, right?” Payamps said through a translator. “So that’s what we have to do. We got to pick each other up. … The job was to strand that runner on base and that’s what we did.”

Bryan Reynolds hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh, but the Pirates managed just four hits against five relievers in a bullpen game that favored the Brewers.

Bryse Wilson worked 4 1/3 innings while making his second start of the season. Wilson allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Given the injuries that have ravaged Milwaukee’s pitching staff, Wilson could be on his way to becoming a full-time starter, a role he filled earlier in his career.

“I like him as a starter, I think he can do it,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “And I think he’s, he’s just just, getting started at it, you know. And I think he’s he’s very, very capable. So with our situation right now, he’s a good option.”

The Pirates opted to give Quinn Priester a couple of extra days to rest after making his 2024 major-league debut in a rocky outing last Friday against Boston. Reliever Josh Fleming (1-1) served as the opener, something he did occasionally last season while with Tampa Bay.

Fleming cruised through the first two innings before running into trouble in the third. Frelick reached on an error by first baseman Rowdy Tellez and Brice Turang walked two batters later.

Luis Ortiz came on in relief and promptly gave up an RBI single to Contreras. Ortiz, who was in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation during spring training before being sent to the bullpen, hit a pair of batters to force in a run and then walked Blake Perkins to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.

Reynolds’ third home run of the season — a shot to the seats in right-center — in the bottom of the third brought Pittsburgh within one. But the Pirates never really threatened to tie it until the ninth. McCutchen — who had homered on Monday and Tuesday — couldn’t find a way to get pinch-runner Michael A. Taylor home.

Pittsburgh has scored two or fewer runs seven times in its last eight games, a stretch in which the Pirates are just 2-6.

“We were the big hit away from — I mean, understatement — but a big hit away from winning that game,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Sheltons said. “We created some opportunities late in the game but weren’t able to capitalize on it.”

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