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Jul. 3—When the Milwaukee Brewers started hitting solo home runs, all JT Brubaker and the Pittsburgh Pirates could do was watch and learn.

Willy Adames blasted one over the North Side Notch. Jace Peterson belted one off the batter’s eye.And Jackie Bradley Jr. bounced one off the left-center wall and into the visiting bullpen.

By the time Bryan Reynolds got in on the action in the eighth, it was too late, as the Brewers pounded the Pirates, 7-2, on Friday night before 15,421 at PNC Park.

Brubaker said he was both frustrated and fueled by the homers, as he followed by throwing three scoreless innings before a two-run sixth inning that saw a comebacker glance off his glove.

“It does frustrate me out on the mound, because I don’t want to give up home runs. No pitcher wants to give up home runs. Bright side is, they were solo shots,” Brubaker said. “If you’re gonna give them up, you might as well give them up. You don’t want the ones like Jackie’s. Even though it goes underneath the same category, if you’re gonna give ’em up, you might want to give ’em up.”

The Brewers (50-33) ran their winning streak to 10 games, while the Pirates (29-52) lost their fifth consecutive. At the halfway point of the season, the Pirates are 20 games behind the first-place Brewers in the NL Central and their .358 winning percentage is the third-worst in the majors, behind Arizona (23-60, .277) and Baltimore (27-54, .333).

Milwaukee got off to a fast start in the first inning, when Adames sent Brubaker’s 1-1 slider over the North Side Notch in left field, a 430-foot shot that gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

Peterson did one better in the second, thumping a 3-1 sinker off the batter’s eye in center field for a 450-foot home run and 2-0 lead.

“He hit that ball well,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “It sounded loud off the bat. It’s the first one I’ve seen. When you leave the ball on the middle of the plate in the big leagues, it’s going to get hit hard, and that one did.”

Two batters later, Bradley’s 404-footer sailed over the reach of Reynolds and bounced one off the top of the fence and into the visiting bullpen in left-center for a 3-0 lead.

“Hung pitch, 3-1 count with two-seam and then tip your cap to Jackie getting it out on a pitch out of the zone,” Brubaker said. “Was the definition of a wall-scraper, I guess. Little uncharacteristic. It happens. This team’s hot, and that’s what happens with a hot team.”

The Pirates turned to small ball to score in the bottom of the second, as Ben Gamel hit a leadoff double to left-center, reached third on Kevin Newman’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Phillip Evans grounded out to third to cut it to 3-1.

Brubaker stuck to the game plan retired 10 of the next 11 batters, allowing only a walk to Adames, before the Brewers got it going in the sixth. Christian Yelich hit a leadoff single to left and advanced to third when Adames hit a comebacker that deflected off Brubaker’s glove. That prevented second baseman Adam Frazier, who was playing behind Brubaker in a defensive shift, from making the play.

“What happened was I thought it was coming back a little harder than what it was. It was just a defensive reaction to protect my face,” Brubaker said. “I knew Fraz was behind me. It was like I got my glove there too quick and then I tried to get my glove out of the way, and it hit off the glove. It was just a ball that caught me in between, really knowing what was going on in the game, and it caught the tip of my glove.”

Tyrone Taylor followed by hitting a triple to right-center to score both for a 5-1 lead.

Where Brubaker (4-8) gave up five runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings, Brewers right-hander Adrian Houser (5-5) threw 103 pitches in 62/3 innings and allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out five.

“Execution. I mean, he gave up the three solo homers, just left balls in the middle of the plate,” Shelton said. “In the other inning, he gave up a run [because] he deflected a ball that would have been a double-play ball and gotten out of that inning. It’s just some bad luck.”

In the eighth, Reynolds launched a 436-foot solo shot off reliever Brent Suter into the Pirates’ bullpen for his team-leading 15th home run and 46th RBI. Reynolds also doubled to go 2 for 4.

The Brewers added three more runs in the ninth. Kyle Crick walked Taylor, who scored on Keston Hiura’s single to right. With Hiura and Bradley in scoring position after a double steal, both scored when Crick threw a wild pitch that bounced into the Brewers dugout to make it 7-2.

“Everything is a learning lesson for us right now, and we have to continue to learn from them,” Shelton said. “That game’s a 3-0 game or 3-1 game if he keeps his glove down, so I know he’s frustrated about and will learn from, because that ball is hit right to Fraz. So we just have to continue, especially with him, to take these learning messages. The one thing about JT is he takes information probably about as well as anybody we have, and we’ll move on from it.

“Yeah, it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating when we have (situations) where we can get outs. My job is to continue to stay the course and stay positive and continue to teach, mine and the staff’s (jobs). To say you don’t get frustrated, that’s not true, but we have to continue just to move through it.”

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at or via Twitter .