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Cruz breaks slump with 3 hits as Pirates snap Brewers’ four-game win streak

Cruz breaks slump with 3 hits as Pirates snap Brewers’ four-game win streak


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Oneil Cruz broke out of a slump with three hits, rookie Jared Jones allowed one run in six innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates ended their skid at six games, beating Milwaukee 4-2 on Monday night to stop the Brewers’ four-game win streak.

PROGRAM NOTE: Tuesday’s Brewers-Pirates game will be on WIZM, beginning with pregame at 5:05 p.m. Tune in on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska)

Cruz capped a three-run sixth with a two-out, two-run single. He also singled in the second and dropped a double into right-center in the fourth. The 6-foot-7 shortstop was 4 for 44 in his previous 12 games.

“You look at the base hit that Cruzy got, that ended up being the game-winning base hit, the left-on-left … we put the ball in play,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “We moved the ball forward. It’s something that we have not been doing. … Overall, I was really happy with our offensive approach.”

Jones (2-2) gave up four hits and two walks. The 22-year-old struck out seven and has 39 strikeouts to become the fourth major league pitcher since 1893 to strike out at least seven in his first five starts, joining Masahiro Tanaka (2014), Stephen Strasburg (2010) and José DeLeón (1983).

Jones fanned Brice Turang to start the third, making him fall in the box swinging at a slider down and inside.

“Never made someone fall, but it was pretty cool to see. Pretty good pitch,” Jones said. “I was laughing on the inside.”

The Pirates, following an 11-5 start, were outscored 36-9 in back-to-back three-game sweeps by the Mets and Red Sox. The Brewers were coming off a three-game sweep at St. Louis.

David Bednar picked up his third save, allowing only an infield hit by Jackson Chourio in the ninth.

Joe Ross (1-2) gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Milwaukee.

“I feel like I just feel good in my delivery,” Ross said. “I feel like when I feel confident in my delivery, it just kind of comes out. I feel like that’s really it. I’m not really trying to do too much.”

Andrew McCutchen led off the first for Pittsburgh with a 414-foot homer to center, his first of three hits. He hit his 1,000th single in 1,473 games with the Pirates in the third.

“It’s something I’m familiar with,” McCutchen said of batting leadoff. “You get called in by the manager and he’s asking something of you, you want to be able to hold up your end of the bargain and try to step up.”

Rhys Hoskins homered off Jones leading off the fifth, then walked to load the bases with two outs in the sixth. Jones retired Blake Perkins on a comebacker to end that threat.

Pirates setup man Aroldis Chapman walked three straight, loading the bases with one out in the eighth. Hunter Stratton entered to limit the damage to one run, getting Hoskins and Perkins to ground out.

“That’s the game,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “Credit the pitchers too. That kid, Jones, man. That kid was electric. We didn’t get the big hit at the big time.”


Brewers: RHP Jakob Junis was taken to a hospital during batting practice after being struck in the neck by a line drive off the bat of Pirates INF Alika Williams. Junis, who was placed on the 15-day injured list April 6 because of a shoulder impingement, was said to be “conscious, alert and responsive” in a joint statement from the teams. … LHP Wade Miley went on the 15-day IL with left elbow inflammation.


LHP Bailey Falter (1-1, 4.05 ERA) will take the mound for the Pirates in the second game of the four-game series Tuesday. The Brewers had not announced a starter.

TOP PHOTO: FILE – A Milwaukee Brewers mascot cheers in the empty stands during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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