PITTSBURGH — Brent Suter pitched five efficient innings, Ryan Braun homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 on Monday night to gain ground in the NL playoff chase.
Milwaukee pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Cubs in the NL Central and two games behind the Rockies for the final NL wild card. Chicago and Colorado were both off Monday.
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Suter (3-2) allowed five hits and struck out four, throwing just 64 pitches before handing off to the bullpen. Five relievers split the final four innings, with Corey Knebel pitching the ninth for his 36th save in 41 tries.
Braun’s solo shot, his 17th of the season, came in the fourth inning off starter Jameson Taillon (7-7). In the sixth inning, former Pirates infielder Neil Walker added on with an RBI single that ended Taillon’s night.
Taillon had his last turn in the rotation skipped after a poor start Sept. 7 and rebounded by giving up two runs and six hits in five innings. Taillon walked one and struck out four.
Travis Shaw hit an RBI single to score Walker in the eighth. It was Shaw’s team-leading 96th RBI this year. Braun, Shaw and Walker each had two hits.
Brewers: OF Domingo Santana (back strain) did not play, but manager Craig Counsell said he should play Tuesday.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (left quad irritation) will be shut down for the remainder of the season. Cervelli hasn’t played since Aug. 25. He also missed time this year with a concussion and a wrist injury. … OF Starling Marte (left shoulder, finger) did not play. He was injured sliding into second base on Wednesday.
Brewers: Chase Anderson (10-3, 2.88 ERA) will make his 23rd start of the season. He is 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA in two starts against the Pirates this year.
Pirates: Trevor Williams (6-8, 4.26) is schedule to start. His 105 strikeouts are fifth among National League rookies.