Travis Shaw drove in three runs as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 and split the four-game series at Miller Park.
Shaw homered in the first inning and doubled in what became the winning run in the bottom of the sixth. The Brewers third baseman thought that he had a game-sealing three-run homer in the seventh, but an official review determined that the ball hit the top of the wall. While one run scored, Domingo Santana, who was jogging in anticipation of an easy run, was thrown out at home.
Ivan Nova, who has been exceptionally efficient this year, had an uncharacteristically difficult first inning, throwing 30 pitches and allowing two runs. Eric Sogard doubled to lead off the bottom of the first and scored on a single by Eric Thames. Following a nice double play started by Josh Harrison, Shaw blasted his homer to center field and gave the Brewers an early lead.
The Pirates righty settled down in the middle innings before allowing two more Shaw RBIs in the sixth and seventh innings. After all was said and done, Nova went seven innings and allowed four earned runs on 11 hits and two walks. Nova also struck out five.
Josh Bell gave the Pirates an early lead in the top of the first inning when he singled in Josh Harrison from second base. After the Brewers took a 2-1 lead, Gregory Polanco tied the game in the fifth inning with a solo shot to the opposite field. It was Polanco’s fifth home run of the season.
With the exception of those two runs, Brewers starter Chase Anderson shut the Pirates down on Thursday afternoon. Anderson allowed two runs on two hits in six innings of work. The righty struck out seven and walked two.
Former Pirate Jared Hughes pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Brewers before giving way in the eighth inning to right-hander Jacob Barnes, who allowed two hits but escaped without a run after second baseman Sogard collected a weird bounce and threw pinch-hitter Adam Frazier out at the plate.
After the Pirates won the first two games of the four-game series, they lost the remaining two and are now sitting at 33-40 on the season, six games behind the Brewers.
The Pirates will now move on to St. Louis where they will start a three-game series against the Cardinals (33-38) on Friday at 8:15 PM EST.