By JOE TOTORAITIS, Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Zach Davies anticipated exactly how the Pittsburgh Pirates played.
Keon Broxton hit a pinch-hit home run, Manny Piña drove in two runs, Davies pitched into the seventh and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pirates 3-1 on Tuesday night.
“Just a good battle,” Davies said. “Both teams care about the game. Both teams are in it to win it.”
Davies (14-6) allowed six hits, including Adam Frazier’s run-scoring triple in the sixth, walked two and struck out two.
“Zach pitched great again tonight, and we scored enough runs to win,” Travis Shaw said after the Brewers pulled to 1 1/2 games behind the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs who lost 2-1 to Cincinnati.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle tipped his cap to the Milwaukee starter.
“Davies kept the ball on the ground really well early,” Hurdle said. “Five of the first six hitters hit ground balls. We ended up with 10 ground ball outs on the outing.”
Jared Hughes took over for Davies and retired Josh Harrison on a bouncer back to the mound. Jacob Barnes handled the eighth and Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.
Piña capitalized on Shaw’s success against Ivan Nova (10-10). Shaw came in batting .769 (10 for 13) against the big right-hander. He singled in the second and scored when Piña bounced into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. In the sixth, Shaw walked and scored on Piña’s two-out infield hit.
Broxton drove a 3-2 pitch in the seventh from A.J. Schugel into the Pirates’ bullpen for the third pinch-hit home run of his career and first this season.
Nova allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco was placed on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to Sunday) with a left hamstring strain. He suffered the injury Saturday in Toronto and left the game. He missed Sunday’s game, too. … C Elias Diaz was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for his third stint this season. … C Chris Stewart started for C Francisco Cervelli who left Sunday’s game with left hand/wrist discomfort.
Brewers: Shaw was back in the lineup after missing Sunday’s game. He had fouled pitches off his foot and knee in the same at-bat Saturday night. … RHP Chase Anderson (strained left oblique) has progressed so well through his rehab starts that he was named the starter on Sunday on the road against the Colorado Rockies. … C Stephen Vogt (left knee sprain) should make two more starts with Triple-A Colorado Springs before possibly rejoining the club in Colorado. … SS Orlando Arcia missed the game with back spasms.
LET’S GET THIS CLARIFIED
The Pirates challenged the collision rule at home plate in the fourth. Hurdle contended that catcher Piña blocked the plate and prevented Josh Bell from scoring. Piña had his right foot on the corner of the plate and his body up the line waiting for the throw from foul territory. After a 45-second review, the out call was confirmed.
“I thought he (Piña) was clearly set up in front of the plate,” Hurdle said. “This is the explanation I’ll look forward to getting. Why it stood? We felt by the definition we understood, he was blocking the plate. That wasn’t the call made by the crew in New York. I’m definitely looking to find out why.”
Davies’ sacrifice in the fifth extended his major-league lead in sacrifice bunts to 12.
VILLAR TO THE OUTFIELD
Manager Craig Counsell moved switch-hitting second baseman Jonathan Villar to center field to keep another left-handed batter in the lineup against Nova. Villar hadn’t been in the outfield since the 2015 season. He borrowed an outfielder’s glove from right fielder Domingo Santana. Villar handled one chance perfectly.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (10-8, 3.87 ERA) looks for his fourth consecutive start of at least seven innings against the Brewers this season. Overall, he is 7-0 in his last seven starts on the road and hasn’t lost since May 22 in Atlanta.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (9-6, 3.72 ERA) faces the Pirates for the third time this season. He is 5-4 in 12 career starts against them, including a 4-2 loss on July 20 at PNC Park.
Brewers 3, Pirates 1
|S.Marte lf||4||0||2||0||Villar cf||4||0||1||0|
|Hrrison 2b||4||0||0||0||J.Brnes p||0||0||0||0|
|McCtchn cf||3||0||0||0||Knebel p||0||0||0||0|
|J.Bell 1b||3||1||0||0||Thames 1b||4||0||0||0|
|Freese 3b||4||0||0||0||Braun lf||4||0||1||0|
|A.Frzer rf||4||0||2||1||T.Shaw 3b||2||2||1||0|
|Mercer ss||3||0||1||0||Do.Sntn rf||3||0||0||0|
|C.Stwrt c||3||0||1||0||N.Wlker 2b||3||0||1||0|
|Jaso ph||0||0||0||0||Pina c||4||0||1||2|
|Nova p||1||0||0||0||Sogard ss||3||0||1||0|
|J.Osuna ph||1||0||0||0||Davies p||1||0||0||0|
|Schugel p||0||0||0||0||Hughes p||0||0||0||0|
|Benoit p||0||0||0||0||Broxton ph-cf||1||1||1||1|
E_J.Bell (9). DP_Pittsburgh 2. LOB_Pittsburgh 8, Milwaukee 7. 3B_A.Frazier (4). HR_Broxton (17). SB_S.Marte (9), Villar (22). S_Nova (9), Davies (12).
HBP_by Nova (Shaw), by Davies (Mercer).
Umpires_Home, Andy Fletcher; First, Hunter Wendelstedt; Second, Ben May; Third, Joe West.
T_2:53. A_32,605 (41,900).