Suter, Braun help Brewers beat Bucs to gain in playoff race

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Suter, Braun help Brewers beat Bucs to gain in playoff race
Suter, Braun help Brewers beat Bucs to gain in playoff race

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Brent Suter pitched five efficient innings, Ryan Braun homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 on Monday night to gain ground in the NL playoff chase.

Milwaukee pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Cubs in the NL Central and two games behind the Rockies for the final NL wild card. Chicago and Colorado were both off Monday.

Suter (3-2) allowed five hits and struck out four, throwing just 64 pitches before handing off to the bullpen. Five relievers split the final four innings, with Corey Knebel pitching the ninth for his 36th save in 41 tries.

Braun’s solo shot, his 17th of the season, came in the fourth inning off starter Jameson Taillon (7-7). In the sixth inning, former Pirates infielder Neil Walker added on with an RBI single that ended Taillon’s night.

Taillon had his last turn in the rotation skipped after a poor start Sept. 7 and rebounded by giving up two runs and six hits in five innings. Taillon walked one and struck out four.

Travis Shaw hit an RBI single to score Walker in the eighth. It was Shaw’s team-leading 96th RBI this year. Braun, Shaw and Walker each had two hits.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: OF Domingo Santana (back strain) did not play, but manager Craig Counsell said he should play Tuesday.

Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (left quad irritation) will be shut down for the remainder of the season. Cervelli hasn’t played since Aug. 25. He also missed time this year with a concussion and a wrist injury. … OF Starling Marte (left shoulder, finger) did not play. He was injured sliding into second base on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Brewers: Chase Anderson (10-3, 2.88 ERA) will make his 23rd start of the season. He is 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA in two starts against the Pirates this year.

Pirates: Trevor Williams (6-8, 4.26) is schedule to start. His 105 strikeouts are fifth among National League rookies.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun rounds second after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brent Suter delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon deliver in the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun (8) is greeted at the dugout steps by manager Craig Counsell after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Milwaukee Brewers’ Travis Shaw drives in a run with a single off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher George Kontos in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon waits with catcher Elias Diaz for manager Clint Hurdle to take the ball from him in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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