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Burnes cruises, Brewers top Bucs for 9th straight win

Burnes cruises, Brewers top Bucs for 9th straight win

PITTSBURGH — 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 STARTERPirates 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 MOVESBrewers: 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 ROOMBrewers: 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 NEXTRHP 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

Naylor RBI single in 7th, Indians avoid sweep vs Pirates

Naylor RBI single in 7th, Indians avoid sweep vs Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Josh Naylor foiled Pittsburgh’s strategy with an RBI single in the seventh inning, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Pirates 2-1 Sunday.Cleveland avoided a three-game sweep by the Pirates, who had lost 10 straight entering the series. The Indians have won seven of 10.The lefty-swinging Naylor sent the first pitch he saw from left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve to right, driving in Eddie Rosario to break a 1-all tie. Naylor, who had an earlier hit, was batting .189 against lefties and .277 vs. righties.Naylor thought manager Terry Francona would go with a pinch-hitter.“I kind of peeked in the dugout and tripped over my own feet because I’m expecting to turn around,” Naylor said. “I’m pretty sure the whole stadium knew they were going to bring in the lefty. I was prepared for it. I was waiting for it. It wasn’t really shocking.”The hit came after Pirates manager Derek Shelton pulled starter JT Brubaker (4-6) with two out in the seventh. The right-handed Brubaker threw just 76 pitches, gave up three hits and tied his career-high with nine strikeouts.“It was all about the matchup,” Shelton said. “JT did a heck of a job. He threw the ball extremely well, was extremely efficient. We went into that inning, if we had a guy on base and we had the left-hander there, we were going to go to Shreve.”After forcing Harold Ramirez to ground out for the the second out, Brubaker figured he might have a chance to face Naylor.“I took a peek out in the bullpen, saw we had Shreve and (Clay) Holmes warming up,” Brubaker said. “Once I saw Shelty come out, I knew it was a situational pull. Try to get that left-on-left matchup. Shreve got that groundball, and it just had some eyes.”James Karinchak struck out Colin Moran looking, stranding Kevin Newman at second in the ninth for his eighth save. Karinchak allowed a three-run homer by Bryan Reynolds in the seventh inning of a 6-3 loss on Saturday.The Pirates had runners on first and third and one out in the seventh, but Trevor Stephan got Gregory Polanco to pop out and Adam Frazier to fly out.Brubaker retired the first 13 batters until Ramirez hit a drive into the left-field bleachers to put the Indians up 1-0 with one out in the fifth. Ramirez homered twice Saturday.“You can tell our guys love (Ramirez),” Francona said. “Brings energy and gives you an honest day’s effort. He’s really been really helpful, so important to our team. We play him everywhere in the outfield. He hits everywhere. He just seems to get his barrel to the ball.”Jacob Stallings tied it 1-all with a two-out single off Phil Maton (2-0) in the sixth.Maton struck out the side that inning, but allowed three hits in relief of Sam Hentges, who gave up two hits with four strikeouts in five innings.It was Hentges’ first start since giving up four runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 30. He had made three relief appearances since.“We kind of just found a rhythm there in the second and third,” Hentges said. “Rode that out until the end of the fifth.”Reynolds had the only hit for either team through four innings, doubling off Hentges in the first. Reynolds sent a bloop into right field, where Cesar Hernandez dropped an over-the-shoulder attempt.“Their starter, he has really good stuff,” Stallings said. “His stuff is really good, so he executed pitches. They threw really good bullpen arms at us. I think it might just have been one of those days.”ROSTER MOVEPittsburgh recalled LHP Austin Davis from Triple-A Indianapolis. He pitched the ninth, retiring three batters after allowing a leadoff walk.TRAINER’S ROOMIndians: RHP Shane Bieber will be reassessed at some point this week, pitching coach Carl Willis said. Bieber was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder muscle strain on June 14.Pirates: LHP Sam Howard went on the 10-day IL retroactive to June 19 with right knee tendinitis.UP NEXTIndians: RHP Aaron Civale (10-2, 3.48 ERA) will take the mound against the Cubs in Chicago on Monday. Civale allowed five runs, tying his season high, in five innings Wednesday.Pirates: LHP Tyler Anderson (3-7, 4.89) is expected to start the first of a two-game set against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. In his last start, Anderson gave up a season-high six runs in six innings Tuesday.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports