Burnes cruises, Brewers top Bucs for 9th straight win

Jul 1, 2021, 7:50 AM | Updated: 9:09 pm

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Corbin Burnes challenged the Pittsburgh Pirates early, knowing that Milwaukee’s overworked bullpen needed him to work efficiently.

The Brewers ace went beyond the seventh inning for the first time in the majors, and the Brewers matched their longest winning streak in seven years by beating Pittsburgh 7-2 Thursday night.

The NL Central leaders have won nine in a row for the first time since April 4-13, 2014, outscoring opponents 66-23 during the streak.

“Obviously, their game plan was to come out swinging early and often,” Burnes said. “We kind of knew that just based off the last time I faced them. The focus was just to make sure that we were good 0-0, whether we’re getting ahead or we’re getting some weak contact. Worked pretty well tonight.”

Burnes (4-4) allowed one run on four hits with five strikeouts in a career-high 7 1/3 innings. He lasted seven innings twice before in the majors, once this season against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 6.

A slip might have cost Burnes at least another batter, as his knee jammed on the mound before getting the first out of the eighth. Burnes said he doesn’t expect it to produce any lingering issues.

“We’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” he said. “But this is something that I’ve felt before and I’ve dealt with before. Not too concerned about it.”

Pirates starter Wil Crowe (1-5) went 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits with three strikeouts.

Clay Holmes didn’t get an out on 20 pitches (13 balls) in the sixth for the Pirates, who have lost four straight. He allowed an RBI single to Keston Hiura that extended Milwaukee’s lead to 3-1 following a balk and walked the bases loaded.

Daniel Robertson made it 4-1 on a sacrifice fly with one out after Holmes was pulled for Chris Stratton.

“We’ve faced good pitching, but there is frustration,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “You’re working hard and we’re not seeing it translate right now. We’ve got to keep working hard, keep trying to get better to get out of this lull.”

Burnes’ one noticeable mistake came in the fifth, when Ben Gamel drove his cutter over the wall in right-center field to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 2-1. The right-hander used just 42 pitches to get through the first four innings.

Milwaukee used five relievers during a 15-7 comeback win over the Cubs on Wednesday night.

“On a night when we really needed it, he gave us exactly what we needed,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Burnes. “And in really good fashion. All-in-all, the night went how we needed it to go. We got the rest of the guys a night off in the bullpen. The guys that needed it, a night off. Gets us kind of back to square-one.”

Gamel nearly got Pittsburgh on the board earlier, sending a ball deep to center. Jackie Bradley Jr. slowed near the warning track and faked like he had no play on the ball before making the routine catch. His faint appeared to fool baserunner Jacob Stallings, who was doubled up at first base.

“I’m always doing stuff like that,” Bradley said. “Whether it’s during a practice or anything like that. That moment just happened to be one of those moments.”

Pirates closer Richard Rodríguez gave up three runs in the ninth, one on a double from Omar Narváez and two more on a single from Tyrone Taylor with the deficit expanding to 7-1.

ALL-STAR STARTER

Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier will start for the National League in the 2021 All-Star Game at Coors Field, MLB announced Thursday. He will join Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski (1967) as the only Pittsburgh second basemen to start an All-Star Game. Frazier entered Thursday second in the NL in batting (.327) and tied for second in doubles (24).

“I’ll enjoy it when that moment comes,” Frazier said. “It’s a dream come true to share the field with future Hall of Famers, and some really good players. Just try to soak it all in when that times comes.”

ROSTER MOVES

Brewers: RHP Alec Bettinger was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. … LHP Aaron Ashby was optioned to Nashville after allowing seven runs and getting pulled two outs into the first inning Wednesday.

Pirates: OF Jared Oliva was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: 2B Kolten Wong left with left calf tightness after the top of the third inning.

Pirates: 1B Colin Moran was placed on the 10-day injured list with a pisiform bone fracture in his left hand. … INF Erik Gonzalez exited with a right-side discomfort after hustling for a single in the seventh.

UP NEXT

RHP Adrian Houser (4-5, 4.16 ERA) will take the mound for the Brewers, facing Pirates RHP JT Brubaker (4-7, 3.82) on Friday. Houser has allowed a combined nine runs his past two starts; Brubaker hasn’t surrendered more than three runs in five straight starts.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Mackenzie Hughes, of Canada, hits from the 18th fairway during the second roun of the Sanderson Far...
Associated Press

Hughes birdies last 2 holes to catch Detry in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mackenzie Hughes thought he had a chance to be picked for the Presidents Cup because of his putting. The strength of his game helped carry him to a 9-under 63 on Friday and a share of the lead in the Sanderson Farms Championship. Hughes birdied his last two holes at the […]
18 hours ago
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to the sidelines during the first half of an NFL fo...
Associated Press

Column: Tua shouldn’t have played, but complex issues remain

There’s one thing we can all agree on: Tua Tagovailoa had no business being on the field. Not in the second half last Sunday. Not in the first half Thursday night. Beyond that, it gets a lot more complicated. The Miami Dolphins quarterback was taken away on a stretcher with a concussion during a prime-time […]
18 hours ago
Teammates gather around Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) after an injury during the fi...
Associated Press

NFL’s handling of concussions questioned after Tua’s injury

The NFL’s handling of concussions has evolved dramatically from the days when players were given smelling salts on the bench and sent back into the game. The league and the NFL Players Association have implemented extensive protocols and hired unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants (UNC) to work with team physicians at each game to diagnose concussions. Still, […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Musher Jessie Holmes takes a break from cooking his dogs a meal to nuzzle with two wheel dog...
Associated Press

Alaska reality star injured while cleaning up storm damage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A reality television star and Iditarod musher was injured this week while helping clean up storm damage along Alaska’s western coast. Jessie Holmes, who since 2015 has starred in “Life Below Zero,” a show about life in rural Alaska produced by National Geographic TV, was injured by falling debris in a […]
18 hours ago
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Adrian Sampson throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first in...
Associated Press

Sampson strong again as Cubs beat Reds for 5th straight win

CHICAGO (AP) — Adrian Sampson threw seven efficient innings, Nico Hoerner drove in three runs and the Chicago Cubs won their fifth straight, 6-1 over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. Sampson (4-5) gave up one run on three hits, struck out six and walked two in his 97-pitch outing. He matched his longest start of […]
18 hours ago
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones winds up to pass in the first half of an NFL football ga...
Associated Press

Pats QB Jones ruled out vs. Packers despite practice return

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was ruled out for Sunday’s game at Green Bay despite making a surprise return to the practice field. Jones was in uniform Friday with his injured left ankle wrapped tightly as he moved gingerly during the brief portion of the workout open to media. It was his […]
18 hours ago
Burnes cruises, Brewers top Bucs for 9th straight win