MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers bring out the best in Chad Kuhl.
Kuhl and Richard Rodriguez combined on a two-hitter, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Brewers 9-0 on Sunday.
Kuhl is 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA in six starts against the Brewers, and the Pirates are unbeaten in those games.
“There were a few games last year that really stand out,” Kuhl said. “This is up there, just for the amount of weak contact and all that. It was one of my better ones, for sure.”
Adam Frazier, Jordy Mercer and Josh Bell hit solo homers for the Pirates.
Kuhl (4-2) allowed one hit in seven innings, struck out eight and walked two, lowering his ERA from 5.01 to 4.12. Domingo Santana singled in the second and was erased on a double play.
“His secondary pitch command today was as good as I’ve ever seen it,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “His fastball probably had the most finish we’ve seen this season.”
Kuhl settled in after going to three balls on each of the first four batters.
“He’s got a real good arm. He’s throwing hard. There was obviously no pressure on him at all today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Rodriguez struck out his first four batters, allowed Hernan Perez’s single up the middle, then stuck out his final two hitters.
Chase Anderson (3-3) gave up five runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Anderson has given up 10 home runs in 45 1/3 innings, after allowing 14 all last season in 141 1/3 innings.
“When you don’t hit your spots and you pitch in a place like this, and if the ball’s up a little bit, balls are going to tend to fly out of the park,” Anderson said.
Frazier hit his first leadoff homer, his second home run this season, and Corey Dickerson added an RBI double later in the inning.
Mercer’s first homer since Sept. 11 made it 3-0 in the second. The Pirates added four runs in the sixth on a leadoff triple by Starling Marte and five consecutive one-out singles. Dickerson, Colin Moran, Mercer and Chad Kuhl drove in runs.
Bell homered in the seventh against Jorge Lopez.
“There was not much good to report about today’s game,” Counsell said.
Milwaukee has been shut out seven times in 35 games after being blanked eight times last season. Milwaukee was shut out three times in a four-game sweep by the Cubs in late April. “It’s a big number already, for sure,” Counsell said.
Brewers infielder Eric Sogard is hitless in his last 27 at-bats, the longest hitless streak by a Brewer since Aramis Ramirez went 0 for 28 in 2014. Sogard has drawn five walks during that span, and his batting average has dropped to .100.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) will make a rehab start with Double-A Altoona, but it was pushed back a day to Monday.
Brewers: C Stephen Vogt (right shoulder), on a rehab assignment at Double-A Biloxi, came out of Saturday’s game after making a throw on a steal attempt. Vogt is scheduled to return to Milwaukee to be examined. … All-Star closer Corey Knebel (left hamstring) pitched Saturday at Biloxi and was scheduled to pitch again Sunday. “He’s on track to join us at the end of the week at the latest,” manager Craig Counsell said. … LHP Boone Logan (left triceps) is scheduled for at least one outing at Triple-A Colorado Springs after consecutive appearances Friday and Saturday at Biloxi.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (2-2-, 4.01) us scheduled to open a two-game series at the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Nova allowed eight runs — five earned — and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings in his last start.
Brewers: Milwaukee closes its homestand with two games against Cleveland starting Tuesday. LHP Wade Miley (1-0, 1.50) makes his second start after opening the season on the DL. He allowed one run and three hits in six innings on Wednesday in beating Cincinnati in his Brewers debut.