- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Francisco Liriano’s bad night of sleep turned out to be a big pain for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jonathan Lucroy, Aramis Ramirez and Khris Davis homered as the Milwaukee Brewers took full advantage of a late lineup change to beat the Pirates 8-5 on Saturday night.

Liriano was scratched minutes before the game began due to neck stiffness. Sudden starter Vance Worley (3-5) gave up five runs - all with two outs - in four innings after he said he learned he’d start five minutes before the anthem.

“You deal with a lot of adversity in this game. That just happened to be one of the ones I had to deal with,” Worley said. “I just got loose as fast as I could, got as much as I needed as if I was coming in out of the pen and came in and tried to do as much as I could.”

Liriano said he’ll evaluate how he feels on Sunday, but knew he wouldn’t be able to go on Saturday night after making all 18 of his previously scheduled starts this year.

“When I was warming up, I was trying to throw and I couldn’t throw,” the left-hander said. “I’ve had it a couple of times, just when I sleep the wrong way. It’s a very stiff neck.”

Worley made his 100th major league appearance and first start since May 14, but it’s one he’ll probably want to forget after Pittsburgh staked him a 3-0 lead.

“We gave Worley a yell 25 minutes before the game that he was going to start. He poured everything he had into the start. He battled, he faced some adversity out there,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “A couple of misplays cost him 16 pitches that got added onto the pitch count and his tank just ran out.”

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson (7-9) fell into a 3-0 hole before recording an out, but sparked Milwaukee’s rally with a two-run single in the second after an ugly start for the Brewers.

Nelson trailed 2-0 after three pitches following consecutive singles, the second featuring a two-base error on a misplay by center fielder Carlos Gomez, and a wild pitch.

The Pirates tried to be aggressive leading 3-0 with the bases loaded and no one out, but it cost them an even bigger inning.

Starling Marte was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Francisco Cervelli’s shallow fly to right fielder Ryan Braun, and Nelson didn’t allow another run until the seventh.

“The throw by Braun, I thought that gave us some energy,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was bases loaded. We were down three, nobody out. It didn’t start out well, but we came out of it feeling pretty good, actually.”

Meanwhile, the feelings haven’t carried over to the Pirates, who were surging in the first half before losing the first two games following the All-Star break.

“We kept scratching and fighting and clawing on offense to get back into the game,” Hurdle said. “But we just didn’t get enough done.”


The teams wore throwback jerseys as part of Milwaukee’s annual Negro League tribute game. The Brewers donned uniforms of the 1923 Bears. The Pirates wore jerseys from the Pittsburgh Crawfords (1931-38).


Pirates: A.J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole were moved to the back of the rotation coming out of the All-Star break to give both pitchers extra rest. The two will throw the first two games of Pittsburgh’s series in Kansas City beginning Monday.

Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta will make one more rehab start next week before the team expects him to return. Peralta has been the 15-day DL (strained left oblique) since May 25.


Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (5-5, 4.03 ERA) tries to avoid the sweep Sunday.

Brewers: RHP Taylor Jungmann (4-1, 2.15 ERA) gets a second chance to make a dominant impression. Jungmann allowed one run in seven innings in his ML debut in Pittsburgh on June 9.

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