PITTSBURGH (AP) — Yasmani Grandal stepped into the spotlight for the Milwaukee Brewers on a day of rest for Christian Yelich.
Grandal had two doubles and an RBI, helping the Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Tuesday.
“He needed those hits,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s the right guy to get them, for sure. He needs to have some positive vibes, and he definitely did today.”
Grandal drove in Ryan Braun with a double to left-center, the first hit off Pirates starter Steven Brault, in the fifth inning, before scoring when Trent Grisham grounded into a double play as the Brewers moved out to a 2-0 lead.
After Braun singled to start the seventh, Grandal doubled off Francisco Liriano (4-3), giving Milwaukee runners on second and third with no outs. A one-out walk to Grisham loaded the bases, and Braun scored on a sacrifice fly by Orlando Arcia to give Milwaukee a 3-2 lead.
Grandal had one hit in his first 19 at-bats in August before his first double Tuesday.
Yelich joked that Counsell benched him Tuesday. Counsell insisted that wasn’t the case.
Yelich sat one day after getting four hits, including two home runs, in Milwaukee’s 9-7 win over Pittsburgh on Monday. Counsell said the decision was intended to manage a nagging back injury Yelich has dealing with this season.
The Brewers won their second straight after losing four in a row. The Pirates are last in the NL Central after falling to 4-20 since the All-Star break.
Grisham scored after being caught in a rundown and tagged at home in the ninth. Pirates catcher Elias Diaz was called for setting in the base path without receiving the ball, and Grisham’s run made it 4-2 with it officially ruled an error on Diaz.
“The right call was made,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Once Elias let go of the ball, he stayed in the baseline. You don’t have to have contact with the runner. It’s called impeding the runner.”
Junior Guerra (4-3) relieved Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson with two outs in the sixth. He got Pablo Reyes to fly out with runners on first and third. Anderson allowed two runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, stretching his streak of starts without surrendering more than two runs to nine.
“I know what I can do when I’m on the mound,” Anderson said. “You try to take the positives of everything. I’ve done that my whole life. It pays off.”
Matt Albers allowed one run in the ninth before getting Kevin Newman to line out and stranding Reyes at third. It was Albers’ second save.
Brault, who gave up two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings, was perfect through four innings before walking Braun to lead off the fifth. He came off the injured list after last pitching July 5, when he sustained a shoulder strain against Milwaukee.
“I felt good because, as the whole process goes on, it’s always like trying to get back to everything,” Brault said. “My rehab start was a little erratic, and to be able to come out tonight and do what I need to do, was a really good feeling.”
Bryan Reynolds cut it to 2-1 in the sixth with a home run, his 11th, off Anderson that traveled 410 feet into bushes beyond centerfield. José Osuna tied it at 2-2 with a double past third baseman Mike Moustakas, driving in Starling Marte.
Brewers: OF Lorenzo Cain left the game with a bruised left knee before the second inning. In the first, he fouled a ball off his knee before falling to the ground, getting to his feet a few minutes later and finishing the at-bat. Ben Gamel replaced Cain in center field.
Pirates: 1B Josh Bell did not start Tuesday and will sit again in the series finale Wednesday, Hurdle said. … RHP Richard Rodriguez struck out the two batters he faced in the sixth after being reinstated from the paternity list.
Brewers: A starter for Wednesday against the Pirates has not been announced. RHP Zach Davies was penciled in before being placed on the 10-day injured list with back spasms on Monday.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.75) will look to win a second straight start for the first time this season Wednesday.