MILWAUKEE (AP) – Eric Thames homered leading off the eighth inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Sunday.
Thames, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, blasted an 0-1 pitch from Pirates reliever Kyle Crick (3-4) to straightaway center, a 432-foot shot that hit just below the scoreboard.
Milwaukee took two of three from its NL Central rival and moved into a first-place tie with the Chicago Cubs, who lost to Cincinnati. The Brewers finished their homestand at 5-5.
Jeremy Jeffress (2-2) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Matt Albers worked the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Milwaukee’s Zach Davies, who had an 8.10 ERA over his previous four starts, allowed one run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two. He also drove in the Brewers’ first run with a two-out single in the fourth after the Pirates intentionally waked Manny Piña.
Melky Cabrera had a run-scoring single in the first for the Pirates.
Pittsburgh’s Steven Brault allowed one run and five hits but lasted just 4 2/3 innings after throwing 97 pitches.
Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman had his hitting streak halted at 19 games.
Pirates: C Elias Díaz was checked by a trainer and remained in the game after being called for catcher’s interference in the fifth when Ryan Braun’s bat struck his glove on a swing. Diaz took a foul tip off his right hand later in the game but stayed on after another visit from the trainer. … RHP Chris Archer, who was pulled after four innings from his start on Friday night due to left hip discomfort, will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Pittsburgh on Monday. … C Francisco Cervelli, who is on the injured list with a concussion, continues to await clearance to return to game action. He participated in on-field activities in Milwaukee.
Brewers: Davies was hit in the hand by a line drive off the bat of Adam Frazier in the second inning.
Pirates: Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.25 ERA) will make his 12th start of the season as Pittsburgh opens a four-game series at home against the Cubs. Williams is 2-4 with a 3.68 ERA in eight career appearances (six starts) against Chicago.
Brewers: Adrian Houser (2-2, 2.94) will make his fourth start of the season Monday as Milwaukee begins a four-game series at Cincinnati. Houser is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA as a starter.