PITTSBURGH (AP) — Omar Narvaez homered and had four RBIs, Brett Anderson pitched six strong innings and the Milwaukee Brewers scored eight runs in the first two innings to roll past the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 9-0 victory on Tuesday night.
Narvaez’s two-run homer started a three-run first inning, and his two-run single highlighted a five-run second against Luis Oviedo, who was making his first major league start.
“I thought it was a great start to the game for us and we made it easy on ourselves,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Anderson (3-5) yielded three hits while striking out three and walking one. He has won both starts against the Pirates this season, allowing one unearned run in 13 innings. He is 5-1 against them lifetime.
Anderson got his first win since April 17 when he beat the Pirates in Milwaukee.
“Wins and losses are kind of a dying stat, but you still like to have a ‘W’ next to your name,” Anderson said.
Miguel Sanchez, Hunter Strickland and Jandel Gustave pitched one inning each to finish the four-hitter, which was the Brewers’ 11th shutout of the season.
Rowdy Tellez hit a two-run single in the second and a solo home run in the ninth for the NL Central-leading Brewers. Narvaez, Tellez, Kolten Wong, Avisail Garcia and Lorenzo Cain had two hits each.
Milwaukee’s 38-19 record since May 22 is the best in the major leagues. So is the team’s 30-18 road mark this season.
Ben Gamel and Jacob Stallings each had two of the four hits for the Pirates, who lost for the sixth time in eight games.
The Brewers won after arriving in Pittsburgh late Tuesday morning. Their scheduled charter flight from Milwaukee on Monday night was canceled due to COVID-19 testing and contract tracing.
Left fielder Christian Yelich and utility man Jace Peterson were placed on the COVID-19 injured list before the game. Yelich, who is vaccinated, tested positive and will miss at least 10 days while Peterson will be sidelined at least seven days due to contact tracing.
Six of the eight runs charged to Oviedo (1-2) were earned and he threw 59 pitches in one-plus innings. The 22-year-old had compiled a 7.23 ERA in 12 relief appearances this year.
“The offense was able to set the tone and I was able to hold it up,” Anderson said. “All in all, it was one of our better wins. To get up at the crack of dawn and travel and then play a game, it threw everyone off their routine.”
Oviedo was a late replacement for Tyler Anderson. The left-hander was scratched from his scheduled start amid multiple reports that he was about to be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.
However, the trade was not immediately finalized, and Anderson wound up throwing a side session in the bullpen about 90 minutes before the start of the game. He also watched the game from the dugout.
After Narvaez’s home run to the right field stands opened the scoring, Cain added an RBI single in the first inning to make it 3-0 after coming off the injured list before the game.
“It’s a challenging thing for anybody when you get told about an hour and a half before the game that you’re going to start,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of Oviedo. “I just never thought he ever got into a really good tempo, and because of that, his fastball command was inconsistent.”
For the Brewers, Cain was activated from the IL and infielder Pablo Reyes was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. Cain had been out since June 1 with a strained right hamstring.
Reliever Devin Williams, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, was also reinstated from the IL and left-handed reliever Angel Perdomo was optioned to Nashville. Williams missed two weeks because of a strained right elbow.
The Pirates called up right-hander Cody Ponce from Triple-A Indianapolis and infielder Rodolfo Castro from Double-A Altoona. Ponce pitched five scoreless innings of relief.
Two roster spots were open for the Pirates after All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier was traded to San Diego on Sunday and reliever Clay Holmes was dealt to the New York Yankees on Monday.
Castro, a rookie, started at second base, but Shelton said there was no set plan on who will replace Frazier.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw (dislocated left shoulder) began a rehab assignment at Nashville and RHP Dylan File (right elbow) had his rehab assignment transferred to Nashville from High-A Wisconsin. Shaw was injured June 9.
Pirates: 1B Colin Moran (left wrist fracture) took batting practice for the first time since being hit by a pitch June 28. … INF/OF Erik Gonzalez (right oblique strain) is hopeful of beginning a rehab assignment by the end of the week with Indianapolis.
RHP Adrian Houser (6-5, 3.88 ERA) will start for the Brewers on Wednesday night. The Pirates have not announced a starter but are expected to call up RHP Max Kranick (1-1, 5.73) from Indianapolis.
Houser is 3-0 with a 3.31 ERA in his last 10 games, including nine starts.
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