Milwaukee 1, Pittsburgh 0
When: 7:05 PM ET, Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tony Randazzo, 1B -
Gerry Davis, 2B -
Rob Drake, 3B -
PITTSBURGH -- On a night where offense was hard to find, Domingo Santana's solo home run held up as the Milwaukee Brewers eked out a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
Santana's solo shot, his 26th of the season, just cleared the short wall near the left field foul pole in the fourth inning. It traveled only 338 feet and was the only damage the Brewers could muster against Pirates starter Trevor Williams (6-9).
Chase Anderson (11-3), Anthony Swarzak and Corey Knebel (37th save) combined for the Brewers' 12th shutout of the season and second on consecutive nights as Milwaukee took each of the first two games of the three-game series.
The Brewers (81-70) are chasing the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central pennant race and remain 3 1/2 games back. They also are one game behind the Rockies in the chase for the second NL wild card after Colorado's loss at San Francisco.
Milwaukee has won six of the past seven games and nine of the past 11, but has gained only a half-game in the standings against the equally white-hot Cubs.
"I swear, I looked up, and they won again tonight, and I was like, 'Man!'" Brewers outfielder Brett Phillips said. "Hey, they want it just as bad as we want it, so I know how they feel. We've gotta take care of business tomorrow, and we'll go from there."
Anderson kept the Pirates off-balance all night, striking out eight in six innings while giving up five hits and no walks. The Pirates had men in scoring position in the first and sixth innings but couldn't capitalize.
"My goal tonight was to continue to keep those guys at bay," he said. "Luckily, we did that. We only needed one swing, Domingo Santana's home run. It was a good game, all the way around."
Anderson's sixth-inning escape came with some help. The Pirates used a pair of singles to put two on with no outs. Speedy infielder Adam Frazier was at third base when Josh Bell hit a fly ball to Phillips in center field, but Frazier put on the brakes when Phillips let loose a big throw from the outfield.
"That was a bullet," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.
The runner eventually was stranded on third by Anderson.
Williams was a tough-luck loser for the Pirates. He struck out six, walked two and allowed three hits in five innings. Only in the second inning did the Brewers threaten against him, when Orlando Arcia and Phillips singled, but Williams struck out Anderson to shut that down.
"The game plan we had going in, we were going to attack the bottom of the zone," he said. "We did a great job of doing that. (Catcher Elias) Diaz and I are getting better together. I think this is our fifth or sixth start now together. Stuff is rolling and we're on the same page. It was good tonight to get ahead of hitters. Unfortunately, it was the front-row homer that did it for them tonight. Sometimes, that's just baseball."
Pittsburgh (68-84) has lost seven straight games, scoring nine runs in that span. The Pirates have dropped 12 of their past 13 contests, but manager Clint Hurdle doesn't think his offense is pressing at the plate to break itself out of the slump.
"I did not see that at all," Hurdle said. "I didn't see a lot of chase outside the zone. I saw a team that didn't walk anybody. Everybody threw strikes. They've got a good bullpen. (Anderson) has been good all year. He had a good game.
"We're battling at-bats. There's no one happy in there. So you keep them fresh for the next day. Feel what you need to feel. There should be some angst -- and there is. Then we have to figure out tomorrow, when we walk through those clubhouse doors, how to beat someone's backside."
NOTES: Pirates OF Starling Marte returned to the lineup after missing four games with finger and shoulder injuries suffered while sliding into second base against Milwaukee on Sept. 13. He went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases. ... Pittsburgh RHP Ivan Nova (calf discomfort) will make his next scheduled start Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. ... Brewers RHP Jimmy Nelson had surgery on his injured shoulder Tuesday. The team does not have a firm time frame for his return to action. Nelson is out for the rest of the 2017 season. ... Milwaukee RHP Aaron Wilkerson will make first major league start as a fill-in Wednesday. He will oppose Pirates LHP Steven Brault.
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