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Lyles healthy in return but unhappy with result


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Elias Diaz tags out the Brewers' Yasmani Grandal in the first inning Saturday in Milwaukee. - AP

MILWAUKEE – Jordan Lyles was happy on one hand and unhappy on the other.

Lyles came off the injured list Saturday night and had a solid start, allowing three runs in six innings. However, it wasn’t enough to beat mound counterpart and former teammate Brandon Woodruff.

So, in the end, Lyles was bummed after the Pirates lost 3-1 to the Brewers on Saturday night at Miller Park. The Pirates reached the midpoint of their season with a 39-42 record as they lost for just the second time in their last nine games.

Lyles (5-4) had missed three weeks with left hamstring tightness.

“Going forward, everything feels good from a physical standpoint and I’m happy about that. But we lost tonight and that’s on my shoulders,” Lyles said. “We’ll come in tomorrow and see what we can improve on but health-wise and I’m where I want to be. Tonight, I got outpitched by Woodruff, though.”

Woodruff (10-2) limited the Pirates to only one run in 7 2/3 innings in helping the Brewers win for just the fifth time in their last 15 games. Lyles spent the last two months of last season with Milwaukee and he and Woodruff were part of the Brewers’ bullpen.

The Pirates got their lone run in the first inning when Colin Moran hit an RBI double to right field with two outs. Josh Bell also tried to score from first on the hit by was thrown out at the plate The Pirates put runners in scoring position just twice more over the final eight innings.

“He’s 10-2 on the year and you look at the numbers across the board. The guy’s legit,” Clint Hurdle said of Woodruff.

Kevin Newman was one of the few Pirates to solve Woodruff as he went 2 for 4 in extending his hitting streak to 19 games. The shortstop now has the longest hitting streak by a rookie in Pirates’ modern-day (since 1900), surpassing those of Rennie Stennett (1971) and Neil Walker (2010).

“He threw 98 when he wanted to and was throwing his slider and changeup, too,” Newman said. “When you have 98 in your back pocket and you have three pitches working, it makes for a tough afternoon, for sure.”

Newman, though, did put his name in the record book.

“I try to keep it simple in my own mind,” Newman said of his hot streak. “I really just go up there and try to compete and put a good swing on a good pitch in the zone. I know it’s redundant. I know I keep saying it but that’s really the focus I have going up there. Whatever happens, happens.”

Newman’s two-out double in the eighth ended Woodruff’s night but Matt Albers came on and got Bryan Reynolds to hit an inning-ending flyout. Josh Hader finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save.

Meanwhile, Lyles gave the early lead right back when the Brewers scored two runs in the bottom of the first to go ahead for good.

Christian Yelich scored the first run from third base when Lyles made an errant throw to first to try to pick off Ryan Braun. Eric Thames followed with an RBI triple then homered in his next at-bat in the fourth inning.

“I’ve got to be better because that guy over there was obviously much better,” Lyles said. “Brandon’s stuff played really well, he was super efficient with his pitches, and the better starter won.”

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