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Brewers top Pirates 3-1

Pitching, homers key win in series finale

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers
Scooter Gennett homered and defended!
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Chase Anderson (9-11); LP: Ryan Vogelsong (3-6); Save: Tyler Thornburg (12); HR: Pitt, Francisco Cervelli (1); Mil, Ryan Gennett (14); Chris Carter (37)

Guess what? The Brewers are going to win more games this year than last. That is an important facet to this, the first real season in the rebuild. Congrats to the players, manager, coaches, and front office. They have truly exceeded expectations.

Tonight’s win got off to a good start for the first time in this series. Chase Anderson kept the Pirates off the board in the top of the first, and Scooter Gennett’s two run homer in the bottom was all the run support that Anderson and three relievers would need.

Which is a good thing, because it was more or less all they were going to get. Chris Carter hit a long homer in the bottom of the seventh for the Brewers third run, but not much else was going on. Ryan Braun was back in the line-up, but didn’t contribute at the plate.

The only other item of note for the Brewers’ offense was Jonathan Villar stealing base number 59 in the top of the first, prior to Scoot’s homer. That ties him with Billy Hamilton of the Reds for the NL lead, and he has a week and a half to get one more, as Hamilton is on the DL for the rest of the season. Just think! If Chris Carter gets hot and hits, say, five homers over the last nine games, the Brewers could have the league leaders in homers and steals.

Anderson pitched into the sixth, allowing a fifth inning homer to Francisco Cervelli for the Bucs only run. He allowed two one-out singles in the first, but instead of letting Pittsburgh get on top he enticed a double play from Gregory Polanco. He retired the first two hitters in the sixth before Andrew McCutchen doubled to center, and he was relieved by Carlos Torres. Chase’s final line was 5.2 innings, 4 hits, the one earned run, with a walk and six strikeouts.

Peres, after getting the final out of the sixth, pitched around a walk in the seventh. Corey Knebel gave up a hit in the eighth but kept the Pirates off the board, and Tyler Thornburg had a walk in the ninth but fanned Sean Rodriguez looking on a knee-buckling curve to notch his 12th save.

The Reds come to town tomorrow night to start the final series at Miller Park this year. Cincy (63-89) sends Anthony DeSclafani (8-4, 3.15) to the mound while the Brewers (69-84) will counter with Zach Davies (11-7, 3.92).