Brewers' Anderson chased in sixth in close loss to Pirates
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Craig Counsell thinks the Pittsburgh Pirates have all the tools to go on a run. Meanwhile, he'd like his squad to score more than just one.
Jonathan Villar homered, but the Brewers only managed two runners in scoring position in Milwaukee's 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
"Our only hits were with two outs in the inning and we didn't have a hit with men on bases at all today," Counsell said. "It was a quiet day offensively, for sure."
Milwaukee has lost 10 of its last 14, but this four-game sweep was particularly painful. The Brewers came into the series 64-17 against the Pirates at Miller Park since 2007.
"They're playing well right now and they certainly have the weapons to do well," Counsell said.
John Jaso and Gregory Polanco each homered in the sixth off Brewers starter Chase Anderson (7-11) to complete Pittsburgh's first sweep at Miller Park since 2004. Starling Marte added a solo shot in the eighth.
"The command was there for me today for the most part, just got away from me in the sixth inning," Anderson said.
Anderson again failed to get out of the sixth inning for Milwaukee -- for the 11th time in his last 12 starts.
He worked his way out of a bases loaded jam with one out in the fourth, but grooved a pair of pitches in his final inning and was pulled after Polanco's shot put Pittsburgh ahead for good.
"That lineup and their starting pitching is pretty good," Anderson said. "It's tough to face those guys."
Ivan Nova threw six sharp innings before leaving early because of a hurting left hamstring and the Pittsburgh Pirates hit three solo homers for their eighth straight road victory.
Nova (4-0) retired 10 of his final 11 batters after allowing Villar's solo homer in the third. He scattered three hits and struck out four before being pinch hit for in the seventh.
"I was trying not to think about it," Nova said of the injury. "It was my first time experiencing something like that. I decided to tell the manager."
Nova is pitching like a staff ace so far in Pittsburgh before he hits free agency this winter. He's struck out 22 and walked just four in 31 1/3 innings with a 2.87 ERA over his first five starts since being acquired at the trade deadline from the Yankees.
"It'd be pretty silly for the manager to push him out there for one more inning and he blows his hamstring," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We were very pleased with that effort."
Pirates 3B Adam Frazier was optioned to Single-A Bristol before the game and RHP A.J. Schugel was recalled. Frazier started at third base in Saturday's 9-6 win.
Pirates: With ace Gerrit Cole out, Hurdle says his rotation plan in Chicago will be Steven Brault on Monday followed by Chad Kuhl and Ryan Vogelsong.
Brewers: Brewers RHP Junior Guerra (right elbow) is expected to return to the rotation at some point after Thursday's day off. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his previous rehab start at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Pirates: Brault (0-1, 3.60 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. The left-hander will make his third career start.
Brewers: Zach Davies (10-6, 4.06) takes the hill in the opener of a series against St. Louis.