PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chase Anderson had eight strikeouts in six innings, Domingo Santana homered and the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second straight day, 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The Brewers won for the ninth time in 11 games, keeping pace in the NL Central and wild-card races. They won for the fourth time in the past seven days against reeling Pittsburgh, which has lost a season-high seven consecutive games and 12 of 13.
It was the 12th shutout of the season for the Brewers, tied for the second-most in the NL.
Anderson (11-3) allowed five singles. Anthony Swarzak retired six of the seven batters he faced, and Corey Knebel earned a save with a perfect ninth. Seven of his 39 saves this season have come against the Pirates.
Milwaukee remained 3 1-2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the division lead. After Wednesday’s series finale at PNC Park, the Brewers head back to Milwaukee to host a four-game series against the Cubs.
The Brewers moved within 2 games of Colorado for the second wild-card spot. The Rockies played later Tuesday.
Santana extended his hitting streak to seven games when he turned on a 1-0 slider from Trevor Williams and hit it into the first row at one of PNC Park’s most shallow points, a few feet to the right of the left-field foul pole.
That was one of three hits Williams (6-9) allowed over five innings. But Pittsburgh’s struggling offense offered no support; the Pirates have scored nine runs during their seven-game losing streak.
Anderson was the beneficiary Tuesday, improving to 3-0 this season against Pittsburgh. At one point, he retired 10 consecutive hitters and 13 of 14. But his most impressive work was getting out of a jam in his final inning.
Adam Frazier led off with a single to center and moved to second on an errant pickoff throw. Starling Marte followed with a well-placed bunt single, putting runners at first and third with no outs.
But Anderson struck out Andrew McCutchen, got Josh Bell to fly out weakly to center and induced an inning-ending pop-out from Gregory Polanco.
The Brewers’ bullpen finished the shutout; it has allowed four earned runs over 43 2/3 innings over the past 10 games.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson had surgery Tuesday to address the rotator cuff strain and partial anterior labrum tear he sustained while diving into a base earlier this month. Nelson had already been ruled out for the season, and his status for the beginning of next season remains in question. “We’re still not going to have an answer (after the surgery), necessarily,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s still got a rehab process that might have a pretty big window of time. We’ll just wait and see.” Nelson leads the Brewers in ERA (3.49) and strikeouts (199) and is second in wins (a career-high 12).
Pirates: Marte was back in the lineup for the first time in five games because of left shoulder and finger discomfort.
Brewers: Counsell announced before the game that RHP Aaron Wilkerson will start Wednesday, five days after the 28-year-old made his major-league debut with a scoreless inning of relief. Wilkerson’s contract was purchased Friday; he went 11-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 24 starts for Double-A Biloxi this season but hasn’t started a game since Aug. 31. “We will see how far he can get,” Counsell said. “.We feel like he has been pitching in a way that we think he can have success up here.”
Pirates: LHP Steven Brault will make his third start for the Pirates after earning International League Pitcher of the Year honors with Triple-A Indianapolis. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said that RHP Tyler Glasnow, who also had a dominating season in at Indianapolis, will follow Brault.
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