MILWAUKEE — As he rounded the bases, Orlando Arcia looked up to the sky before pointing into the stands after crossing the plate.
Somewhere in Miller Park, Arcia’s sister and two friends watched the Milwaukee Brewers rookie hit his first major league home run.
A 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night dampened his postgame mood.
“Just happy I had a chance to hit one out, but at the same time a little down because we lost the game,” Arcia said through a translator.
The Brewers couldn’t overcome Jordy Mercer’s first career grand slam that capped a five-run sixth inning for Pittsburgh.
The inning started with two errors by Milwaukee third baseman Jonathan Villar, who bobbled a bouncer by Andrew McCutchen. Villar then threw wildly to second after making a diving stab on Gregory Polanco’s hard shot.
Starling Marte followed with an RBI double off starter Matt Garza (4-6) to break a scoreless tie. Three batters later, Mercer cleared the bases with his homer to left-center.
After an intentional walk brought Mercer up with the bases loaded, the eighth-place hitter released some frustration.
“Puts a little chip on your shoulder, for sure,” Mercer said.
Garza got ahead in the count 0-2. Then he hung a pitch over the plate.
“I floated a slider in there,” he said.
Domingo Santana popped out to end the game with the potential tying run at second.
Tony Watson escaped the jam for his ninth save. He had allowed a two-out single to Ryan Braun and a walk to Chris Carter, and they pulled off a double steal before getting stranded.
“The game boiled down to a couple of mistakes, a bad 0-2 pitch and that was the game,” manager Craig Counsell said.
Villar was the Brewers’ starting shortstop until a few weeks ago when top prospect Arcia was called up from the minors. Villar, who has 50 steals, is still working on the glove at third.
Arcia, known for his defensive prowess, got a huge confidence boost at the plate. He was hitting .182 coming into the night.
Arcia said teammate Martin Maldonado, who was on deck, told him to watch for Jared Hughes to leave a sinker up in the zone.
A pair of veteran right-handers, Pittsburgh’s Ryan Vogelsong and Garza, kept the bats quiet over the first five innings.
Vogelsong (3-3) won for the second time in three outings, allowing four hits in 5 2-3 innings while striking out six and walking four. He has a 2.48 ERA in five August starts.
Garza struck out a season-high nine, but stomped off the mound after Mercer’s two-out blast.
“That’s a tough one to swallow for him over there,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow (shoulder) was scheduled to make his next rehab start on Saturday for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (elbow) was scheduled to make on rehab start before returning to the team, likely when rosters expand on Sept. 1. Manager Craig Counsell said the team will likely move to a six-man rotation when Guerra returns. … 3B Will Middlebrooks (right leg) will start a rehab assignment at Double-A Biloxi this week.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (3-3) has a 2.25 ERA over his last eight starts, going at least six innings in each game.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (7-13) is 5-2 in seven career starts against the Pirates with a 2.55 ERA.
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