Burnes takes perfect game into the sixth, Yelich homers as Brewers hold off Pirates 11-8

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Corbin Burnes carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, Christian Yelich hit his 10th home run and the Milwaukee Brewers survived a late rally to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-8 on Saturday.

Burnes (6-5) retired the first 15 batters he faced before walking Jared Triolo leading off the sixth. A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with two outs and Jack Suwinski ended Burnes’ shot at a no-hitter with a clean two-run single to right field.

It was the only hiccup for Burnes, who struck out seven against two walks in seven innings to win for just the second time since May 12. Joel Payamps worked a perfect ninth for his second save after Milwaukee’s bullpen flirted with squandering a nine-run lead.

Yelich hit a three-run homer in the second off Johan Oviedo (3-9) to break it open. Jesse Winker added a bases-clearing double in the sixth as the Brewers bounced back from a walk-off loss on Friday to end Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak.

Raimel Tapia had two hits, including his third home run, for Milwaukee. Willy Adames, Blake Perkins and Brian Anderson had two hits apiece for the Brewers.

Oviedo came in having allowed more than three runs just once in his last nine starts. He didn’t have his best stuff against the surging Brewers.

The Brewers broke it open with a five-run second inning highlighted by Yelich’s 422-foot shot over the right-field seats that made it 5-0. Oviedo stayed in to give Pittsburgh’s bullpen a break a night after it had to cover 5 2/3 innings. He left after five innings, giving up a season-high eight runs on nine hits, with three walks and a strikeout.

Burnes wasn’t exactly sharp either, benefitting from some solid defense and a little bit of luck. The Pirates hit four line drives at 100 mph or faster over the first five innings, with each of them finding their way to the glove of one of Burnes’ teammates.

The 2021 NL Cy Young winner, who combined with closer Josh Hader to throw only the second no-hitter in Brewers history on Sept. 11, 2021, against Cleveland, was forced to endure an extended layoff when the Brewers sent eight hitters to the plate in the top of the sixth.

Burnes walked Triolo on four pitches to start the bottom of the inning then walked Ji-Hwan Bae on a full count. He managed to get two outs before hitting Pirates star Andrew McCutchen with a 2-2 cutter to load the bases. Burnes fell behind Suwinski 3-0 and recovered to work the count full before Suwinski turned on a cutter up in the zone and deposited it in right field.

Suwinski later added a two-run home run during Pittsburgh’s six-run eighth. It wasn’t quite enough, however, to stop the Brewers from improving to 6-3 during a 10-game road trip that wraps up Sunday.