Adam Frazier's walk-off snaps Pirates' 7-game losing streak
For the past few days, Adam Frazier has been saying the Pirates were only a couple of big hits away from snapping out of the scoring slump that triggered a seven-game losing streak.
On Wednesday, he came up with two crucial shots — a two-run triple and a walk-off homer — that lifted the Pirates to a 6-4 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.
"A pretty swing," manager Clint Hurdle said of Frazier's home run. "He keeps his nose in the fight and gets his swing off."
It was Frazier's first career walk-off home run.
"It's pretty nice when Frazier decides to score (almost) all the runs today," pitcher Steve Brault quipped. "It's convenient. It's a nice way to win."
Six runs hardly qualifies as a scoring spree, but it's the Pirates' biggest output since Sept. 11, when they beat the Brewers, 7-0, at Miller Park.
"We've been close," Frazier said. "We've had guys on base. We just couldn't capitalize. It's been like that all season; we've been just a hit or two away from being a really good team."
Elias Diaz began the ninth with a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Max Moroff.
With two outs, Frazier launched a 98 mph fastball from Corey Knebel over the Clemente Wall.
"After facing him a few times (this season), I can see him a little better," Frazier said. "That's the first time I actually was able to get inside the ball and get the barrel to one. I finally got to him."
The Brewers built a 2-0 lead with solo homers by Jesus Aguilar and Domingo Santana off Brault. Aguilar's 440-foot blast one-hopped into the tiny bathroom in the Pirates' bullpen.
"The first one (by Aguilar) was hit so far, it's hard to really be bummed out about it," Brault said.
In the third, the Pirates got three runs off right-hander Aaron Wilkerson, a 28-year-old rookie.
Diaz led off the third inning with a double off the center-field fence. Jordy Mercer walked. Diaz was thrown out on Brault's bunt.
Frazier tripled off the top of the Clemente Wall to tie it 2-2. Starling Marte grounded an RBI single up the middle, which snapped a 21-inning scoreless streak and gave the Pirates their first lead at the end of an inning in nine days.
"A breath of fresh air for us," Hurdle said.
As planned, Brault worked the first five innings. Struggling right-hander Tyler Glasnow took over in the sixth with the Pirates leading 3-2.
Six batters later, Glasnow was out of the game. Of the 25 pitches he threw, only eight were strikes.
"I've got to just try to forget about this one," Glasnow said. "Keep moving forward."
Despite issuing a leadoff walk in the sixth, Glasnow got a 1-2-3 inning when Travis Shaw tapped into a double play.
Glasnow walked the first three batters in the seventh. If pinch-runner Quintin Berry hadn't been caught stealing, the Brewers might have blown the score open.
"The spray command was a challenge," Hurdle said.
A.J. Schugel replaced Glasnow and served up a tying RBI double to Eric Thames. After Eric Sogard was intentionally walked, Stephen Vogt drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 4-3.
Last Sunday, general manager Neal Huntington indicated Glasnow would make his next outing out of the bullpen and added it doesn't mean he was being converted to a reliever.
In 17 starts for the Pirates, Glasnow is 2-9 with a 7.24 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. Over four relief appearances, he has a 4.32 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.
The Pirates got an unearned run to tie it 4-4 in the eighth. Andrew McCutchen doubled and scored on a throwing error by Knebel.
"When he made that error, you could feel the energy on their side let down a little bit for the first time all series," Frazier said.
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.