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Brewers cruise past Pirates, move closer to playoff berth

Posted: 8:31 AM, Sep 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-24 22:36:35Z
Brewers cruise past Pirates, move closer to playoff berth

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers used their power to put the Pittsburgh Pirates on the ropes. Some heads-up baserunning — and more than a little help from the mistake-prone home team — pushed the Brewers closer to the club's fifth playoff berth in franchise history.

Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas all hit homers and Milwaukee scored three times on one wild pitch in the sixth inning to break it open as the Brewers cruised to a 13-6 victory on Sunday.

Yelich finished 2 for 3 to boost his batting average to an NL-leading .322 as Milwaukee won for the third time in four games to bolster its chances of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2011.

The Brewers (89-67) hold the top NL wild-card spot and remained 2½ games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central, as well as two games ahead of St. Louis, which has the second wild-card position. Both rivals also won Sunday.

"We won the series. We put ourselves in a good spot," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Got, again, nice work from the bullpen. We're in good shape."

The Pirates were eliminated from playoff contention when the Cardinals beat the Giants.
Yelich's hit his 32nd home run of the season in the second — a three-run blast off Nick Kingham (5-7) — and Shaw followed two batters later with a towering shot that bounded over the right-field seats and into the Allegheny River to give Milwaukee a quick six-run lead.

"Jumping out against them is huge," Shaw said. "We haven't had much success against them. So, to build an early lead was big. They responded, we responded right back. Pretty good day overall for everybody."

Moustakas, acquired in a midseason trade with Kansas City, added his 28th homer of the season, eight of them with Milwaukee. Corey Knebel (3-3) picked up the win in relief after starter Wade Miley failed to record an out during a rocky fifth inning after the Pirates drew within 7-4. Knebel struck out the next three batters and the Brewers were back in control.

"That's a big inning (from Knebel)," Counsell said. "It stops their momentum. They certainly had it at that point. They were feeling good and right back in the game."