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Brault blanks Brewers, Bucs back him with big blasts

Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Steven Brault got more hits than he allowed, smacking two and giving up just one in six scoreless innings, and the Pirates hit three home runs to beat the Brewers, 7-0, on Monday night at Miller Park, snapping a five-game losing streak.

Milwaukee couldn’t figure out Brault’s 90 to 93 MPH fastballs, and he threw plenty of them (65 four-seamers, 11 two-seamers according to Brooks Baseball, in 92 total pitches). Brault struck out six and walked none, losing the no-hitter on Jesus Aguilar’s single to left to lead off the fifth inning.

It was Brault’s first career win. I always add something dismissive to the end of a sentence when I reference pitcher wins and losses, but congratulations, Steven.

Brault, who played both ways at Division II Regis University, I’m sure you’ve heard, added a double in the fifth and a two-RBI single in the sixth.

Brault pitched with the lead throughout. Andrew McCutchen cracked a two-run homer to right-center field in the top of the first, his first homer since August 8.

Brewers starter settled in for a few innings after that, but the Pirates got to him for two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to extend the lead. Brault hit his double to right with one out in the fifth, then Starling Marte homered to center for a 4-0 Pirates lead.

A couple hits chased Woodruff in the sixth. Jared Hughes entered and got a couple outs, including getting Josh Bell at the plate on a comebacker. He intentionally walked Jordy Mercer to get to Brault, who slapped one back up the middle to plate two more for a 6-0 lead.

Mercer added a solo homer in the eighth.

A.J. Schugel pitched a clean seventh. Daniel Hudson got two outs in the seventh, then Dan Runzler got one, making his first Major League appearance since 2012. Felipe Rivero, who hadn’t pitched since last Tuesday, took the ninth inning.

Gregory Polanco also had two hits, matching his pitcher.