MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Thames hit his team-high 30th homer , Chase Anderson pitched effectively on three days’ rest and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-2 on Wednesday night.
Center fielder Brett Phillips added two hits and three RBIs, and also threw out a runner at the plate for the Brewers. They have won five of their last six games as they try to keep pace with the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.
Milwaukee got to Tyler Glasnow (2-7) for five runs, four hits and six walks over 2 2/3 innings in the right-hander’s first start since returning from the minors Sunday.
The Brewers also learned Wednesday that they will host a three-game series this weekend against the Marlins instead of traveling to Miami as originally scheduled, as South Florida recovers from Hurricane Irma.
Milwaukee will be the visiting team in its own stadium, Miller Park.
From the perspective of the pennant race, it’s a big opportunity for the Brewers as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Anderson (10-3) gave the battered pitching staff a lift in his first career start on three days’ rest. The righty allowed Andrew McCutchen’s first-inning solo shot — the veteran outfielder’s 200th career homer — before exiting with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth.
Elias Diaz snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a run-scoring infield single that chased Anderson. Oliver Drake got Gregory Polanco and Max Moroff to fly out, stranding three runners.
Anderson started in place of Jimmy Nelson, out for the rest of the season with a right shoulder injury.
Phillips tripped to the dirt on his two-run, broken-bat single in the third that gave the Brewers a 5-1 lead. The rookie lost his footing after having to jump out of the way of a throw from the outfield. Phillips still made it to second safely after the late throw home failed to get the runner.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was thrown out of the game by plate umpire Bill Welke following a called ball on a pitch to Neil Walker that appeared to be in the lower half of the strike zone. It was Hurdle’s sixth ejection of the year.
Pirates: RHP Joaquin Benoit missed a third straight game. He is home in the Dominican Republic because of a family issue.
Brewers: RF Domingo Santana was a last-minute scratch from the starting lineup with a right upper back muscle injury.
Pirates: After an off day in Cincinnati, Chad Kuhl (7-10) takes the mound to open a three-game series against the Reds on Friday. The right-hander has a 2.30 ERA in his last five starts.
Brewers: Manager Craig Counsell was undecided on who would start Friday against the Marlins. Milwaukee has a hole in the rotation with Nelson out for the year. He got hurt while diving back to first as a runner last week against the Cubs.
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