PITTSBURGH -- The brief look of terror on Hernan Perez's face told the story. This was one base hit the Brewers' utility man would have given back.
Perez's 105-mph line drive (according to Statcast™) produced a scary moment in the second inning of the Brewers' 3-2 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park. It hit Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon in the back of the head before caroming into left field for a single. The center field camera caught Perez grimacing the moment the baseball made impact.
"It was scary," said Perez, who went on to drive in both Brewers runs in the game. "You want to get a hit, but you don't want to hit a pitcher right in the face or the head. I was super scared. I think everybody was."
To Perez's shock, Taillon remained in the game. Not only that, he breezed through six innings on 65 pitches, holding the Brewers to one run on five hits. Taillon was saddled with a no-decision when Pirates closer Mark Melancon surrendered Perez's tying single in the ninth inning, but the Pirates won in the bottom of the frame.
"I was surprised because I knew I had hit the ball hard," Perez said. "Then he threw a good game. All night long he was throwing the ball [well]."
Perez helped the Brewers scratch back from a 2-0 deficit in the first inning. He drove in the only run against Taillon with a fourth-inning groundout, then battled Melancon in the ninth to produce a two-out, two-strike single to center field, scoring Ryan Braun for a 2-2 tie.
One pitch earlier, Perez hung his head when umpire Rob Drake called a close pitch strike two.
"That situation, that ball was down, so I was upset for a minute," Perez said. "But I said, 'Forget about it. You've got one more strike to fire back.' He threw me a good pitch, and I hit it."
"That's an everything-on-the-line at-bat, and it's great to see from Hernan," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It was a big at-bat, for sure."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.