MILWAUKEE (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez has practiced the play many times. Scoop a pitch in the dirt on a strikeout, make the throw to first base for an easy out.
Unfortunately for Sanchez, that's not how it happened when it came time to make the play Sunday.
Sanchez threw the ball into right field, allowing two runners to score and helping the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pirates 4-1.
Milwaukee swept the series and won its ninth in a row.
The Brewers were leading just 2-1 in the sixth inning when Aramis Ramirez walked and moved to third on Lyle Overbay's double.
Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton struck out Scooter Gennett, but the ball was in the dirt. Sanchez's throw to first was wide, allowing Ramirez and Overbay to score.
"It would have been a much closer game if I didn't butcher that play," Sanchez said. "I take a lot of pride in my defense and I take a lot of pride in getting my pitchers through as many innings as possible."
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Sanchez usually makes that play.
"We work with our catchers all the time on that exact play, usually everywhere we go. Field the bunt, clear the lane, make a throw," he said. "He just didn't finish the play. He just didn't finish the throw."
The play ended up being big in the game because Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse dominated the Pirates, giving up just four hits in and striking out nine in 8 2-3 innings.
"He kept us off balance with his off-speed stuff. He was commanding the fastball to both sides of the plate," Sanchez said. "He mixed in a changeup to righties extremely well, which you don't see very often. He had four pitches working."