Williams, Pirates’ pen blank Brewers on two hits
Trevor Williams pitched one-hit ball over seven innings and two Pirates relievers closed out a two-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
Williams (6-4) struck out seven and walked two for his first victory in a month. Jordy Mercer drove in the lone run with a seventh-inning double, and the Pirates won for the fourth time in five games.
The Brewers entered the day leading the NL Central but suffered their third straight loss.
The only hit off Williams was a single by Jonathan Villar with two outs in the fifth. The hit followed a walk to Hernan Perez, and the duo executed a double steal before Erik Kratz struck out to end the inning.
Williams had gone 0-2 in five starts since beating the Chicago White Sox on May 15.
Kyle Crick pitched a perfect eighth inning for Pittsburgh. Christian Yelich singled off closer Felipe Vazquez to open the ninth, ending a string of 13 straight Brewers retired. Vazquez retired the next three hitters for his 14th save in 18 opportunities.
Francisco Cervelli drew a one-out walk in the Pirates’ seventh and advanced to third on Josh Bell’s single. Josh Hader relieved Jhoulys Chacin and struck out Gregory Polanco, but Mercer followed by doubling down the left-field line to score Cervelli.
The run was charged to Chacin (6-2), who had won his previous six decisions and not lost in 13 starts since April 4 against St. Louis. Chacin allowed six hits, struck out two and walked two.
Cervelli had two hits to snap a 0-for-13 skid.
TRIBUTE TO UECKER
As a surprise tribute to Bob Uecker, the Brewers traveling party dressed in loud sportscoats — popularized by the Hall of Fame broadcaster during his frequent guest appearances on The Tonight Show — for the flight from Milwaukee to Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
Manager Craig Counsell said he had hoped to replicate an outfit Uecker once wore that included a turtleneck sweater with a belt and a pair of bellbottom slacks. Alas, Counsell came up empty in his search for such garb.
The Pirates activated right-handed reliever Richard Rodriguez from the 10-day disablist list, recalled infielder/outfielder Jose Osuna from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned right-handed reliever Dovydas Neverauskas and catcher Jacob Stallings to Indianapolis.
Brewers: RHP Freddy Peralta (1-0, 3.72 ERA) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start tonight. The rookie made two starts with the Brewers earlier this season, including striking out 13 in 52/3 innings at Colorado on May 13 in his major league debut, and is 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 12 starts with Colorado Springs.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (4-5, 3.94) is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in his last four starts and 1-3 with a 3.47 ERA in seven career starts against Milwaukee.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw (sore right wrist) was given the night off after being injured Sunday during a swing in a loss to Philadelphia.
Pirates: Rodriguez had been out since June 7 with right shoulder inflammation.