Milwaukee Brewers rookie center fielder Joey Wiemer quickly has become a fan favorite for his mullet haircut and brilliant defensive plays
The 24-year-old Wiemer homered for the second straight game in Saturday's 5-0 win over the Pirates. Milwaukee has won two straight following a six-game losing streak
Wiemer is hitting .215 with 10 homers and 10 stolen bases after taking over center field from Garrett Mitchell, who had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in May. Wiemer is determined to make the most of his opportunity.
"I'm going to show up and play hard because you never know when your last day is on a baseball field, so just kind of trying to take every day, not for granted," Wiemer said.
Brewers starter Wade Miley and four relievers held Pittsburgh to six hits in Saturday's loss
"We really couldn't get anything going off Miley. He kept us off-balance," Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. "Their bullpen came in and did a good job. We have to figure out a way to generate some offense."
Milwaukee will send right-hander Freddy Peralta (5-6, 4.73 ERA) to the mound in the series finale. He allowed four runs over five innings in an 8-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics last Sunday.
"I should have made better work (Sunday) on the mound," Peralta said. "The boys tried to come back. The offense did a great job. ... But as a pitcher, I need to do a better job to give them a chance to win the game."
Bryan Reynolds is 9-for-19 against the 27-year-old Peralta, who is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 17 career games (eight starts) against the Pirates, including 0-0 with a 1.84 ERA in three outings last season
Pittsburgh will counter with right-hander Luis L. Ortiz (1-3, 4.64), who allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings in an 11-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. He settled in after giving up a three-run homer in the first inning.
Ortiz, 24, has given up five home runs in his last four games covering 17 1/3 innings. He will make his first career appearance against Milwaukee.
The Brewers welcomed Jesse Winker back to the lineup on Saturday after the designated hitter missed the previous 16 games due to a neck injury. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his return
Pittsburgh will look to avoid another sweep on Sunday after beginning its six-game road trip with three straight losses to the Cubs.
Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller, who allowed four runs in five innings on Saturday, said the team remains optimistic
"Obviously, we don't want to lose; some of them are tough, especially in the division, on the road," Keller said. "We're coming to the field with a great attitude every day. It's just baseball. You've got to get through some hard patches here. I've got no doubt in our minds that we will."
--Field Level Media