Good teams are supposed to beat up on bad teams, and that is exactly what the Milwaukee Brewers did all weekend at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Sunday afternoon, the Cream City Nine completed a sweep of their three-game series as they, along with the Cubs, continue to put distance between themselves and the rest of the NL Central.
Adrian Houser got the start for the Brewers, and as is often the case for the groundball specialist, he successfully navigated through some traffic on the basepaths to post a solid outing. The Pirates nicked him for three singles and a run scored on a groundout in the second inning, and then Jacob Stallings clubbed a solo home run in the sixth inning. But that was the only scoring allowed by Houser as he covered 5.2 frames on 82 pitches. He yielded seven hits but no walks, and punched out two.
The Brewers got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning, with the top two batters in the lineup doing damage right away. Luis Urias singled to right leading off, then Dan Vogelbach doubled to center to bring him home. Milwaukee wouldn’t score again until the sixth inning. First, Tim Lopes walked. Then he scored on a Urias triple. After that, Vogelbach grounded up, but Avisail Garcia followed him with a his team-leading 13th home run of the season. That made it a 4-2 game.
Milwaukee tacked on one more in the seventh. Manny Pina doubled to lead off, moved up to third on a productive out by Jackie Bradley, Jr., then scored on a sacrifice fly from Christian Yelich. Manufactured run!
Brent Suter walked a pair, allowed a hit, and recorded one out in relief of Adrian Houser to get out of the sixth inning, and that was enough to earn his 8th win of the season. Brad Boxberger and Devin Williams got through the seventh and eighth, each recording a hold, then Josh Hader struck out three in the ninth for his 17th save of the season. Now 9-1 over their last 10 games and tied with the North Siders for first place, the Brewers continue their homestand with a series against Cincinnati starting on Monday night.