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Milwaukee (77-53) «0002000428110
Pittsburgh (60-67)000000010180

Narveson leads red-hot Brewers past Bucs in Game 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Chris Narveson's pitching is fine so long as his fingers don't get in the way.

Narveson pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and knocked in two runs after coming off the disabled list to lead the streaking Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opening game of a doubleheader Monday.

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The left-hander gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three before being forced to leave with one out in the sixth after the nail on his left middle finger started to tear.

It's the second finger-related injury Narveson has sustained this month. He lacerated his left thumb while repairing his glove two weeks ago, sending him to the 15-day DL.

The nail shouldn't be as troublesome, though he took a good ribbing from his teammates.

"[Randy Wolf] said he was going to send me to a manicurist," Narveson said.

Ryan Braun hit his 25th home run for the Brewers, who have won 19 of 22 to open a comfortable lead in the NL Central on second-place St. Louis. Milwaukee also won its 13th straight against the fading Pirates.

Pittsburgh, in first place five weeks ago, fell 16½ games out.

Pirates starter Jeff Karstens (9-7) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out five. But he couldn't find a way to end the Pirates' misery against Milwaukee.

"They're just on a big roll," he said. "I really can't describe it. It's one of those things where we've got to be better than we are."

Nobody's better than the Brewers these days. Milwaukee took another step toward its first division title since 1982 by continuing its dominance of Pittsburgh.

The Brewers haven't lost to the Pirates since July 21, 2010, and have outscored them 51-16 this year.

"I think everybody just keeps pushing no matter how many runs or what the situation or score is," Narveson said.

Narveson's trip to the DL might have been more embarrassing than painful, and once back on the hill he had no issues with the Pirates, who are 8-23 since July 19.

Narveson (9-6) also made a contribution with his bat, giving Milwaukee the lead in the fourth.

Karstens intentionally walked Craig Counsell to load the bases with two outs. Narveson fell behind 1-2 before lacing a curveball to right for a two-run single.

"It was probably too good a pitch for him to take," Karstens said. "I've got to make better pitches than that in that situation."

Narveson figured he knew what was coming when Karstens got ahead in the count.

"I didn't really sit soft but I knew he might come in there with the breaking ball and I was able to stay back on it long enough to get it down the line," he said.

Narveson cruised into the sixth before grimacing after his nail bent awkwardly while he was pitching to Steve Pearce. Though he wanted to stay in after throwing only 85 pitches, Narveson didn't think it was worth the risk.

"I knew if I threw one pitch and it ended it up catching it good and pulling it back or pulling it off, I knew I'd be in big trouble," he said. "I figured, I think we caught it and it should be good."

Narveson gave way to Kameron Loe, and Milwaukee's bullpen limited the Pirates to one run over the final 3 2/3 innings.

Ryan Ludwick hit his 12th home run of the season -- and first since being acquired by the Pirates just before the trade deadline -- while Jose Tabata had three hits for Pittsburgh.

It wasn't nearly enough to cool off the Brewers.

"It's been one of those things where they're playing really, really good baseball right now," Karstens said. "We had them where we wanted them for a little while, we just weren't able to come up with a win tonight."

Notes

  • Milwaukee OF Carlos Gomez will take batting practice Tuesday for the first time since fracturing his left clavicle while making a diving catch in Arizona on July 20.
  • Milwaukee 2B Rickie Weeks ran on a treadmill as he continues to recover from a severely sprained ankle.
  • Pittsburgh catcher Mike McKenry moved to third base in the ninth inning, the first time in his career he's been on the field but not behind the plate.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson gives himself a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with a two-out two-run single.  (AP)
Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson gives himself a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with a two-out two-run single. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

Y. Betancourt
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Pittsburgh

J. Tabata
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nyjer Morgan, CF5000024 .306
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B4120111 .267
Ryan Braun, LF5112002 .329
Prince Fielder, 1B5000021 .302
Mark Kotsay, RF3010000 .259
   a- Corey Hart, PH-RF2110000 .268
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS5221001 .260
George Kottaras, C3110001 .234
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
   b- Casey McGehee, PH0100100 .242
    Tim Dillard, P0000000 .000
Craig Counsell, 3B2111101 .174
Chris Narveson, P2012010 .159
    Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
   c- Jonathan Lucroy, PH-C2012001 .283
Totals38811836  
a-singled for Kotsay in the 8th
b-was walked intentionally for Saito in the 8th
c-flied out for Loe in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jerry Hairston Jr. (15, Karstens), Yuniesky Betancourt (22, Watson), George Kottaras (5, Karstens), Jonathan Lucroy (14, Watson)
HR - Ryan Braun (25, Beimel)
RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (83), Yuniesky Betancourt (55), Craig Counsell (5), Chris Narveson 2 (4), Jonathan Lucroy 2 (52)
2-OUT RBI - Yuniesky Betancourt (25), Craig Counsell (3), Chris Narveson 2 (3), Jonathan Lucroy 2 (27)
Team LOB - 7
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Narveson (W,9-6) 5.1500130 4.31
Kameron Loe (H,16) 0.2100000 3.81
Takashi Saito (H,9) 1100010 2.50
Tim Dillard 2111031 4.94
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Narveson 83-52, Kameron Loe 14-8, Takashi Saito 14-9, Tim Dillard 38-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Narveson 5-8, Takashi Saito 1-1, Tim Dillard 2-1
Batters Faced - Chris Narveson 22, Kameron Loe 3, Takashi Saito 4, Tim Dillard 7
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, RF4030000 .278
Josh Harrison, 2B3020001 .267
   a- Neil Walker, PH-2B1000001 .276
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000014 .272
Ryan Ludwick, LF4111012 .242
Steve Pearce, 1B-3B4000010 .202
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
Ronny Cedeno, SS4010010 .253
Brandon Wood, 3B2010000 .217
   b- Garrett Jones, PH-1B2000001 .245
Michael McKenry, C-3B3000120 .238
Jeff Karstens, P2000012 .095
   c- Xavier Paul, PH1000000 .264
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Doumit, C1000000 .284
Totals3518117  
a-grounded out for Harrison in the 7th
b-flied out for Wood in the 6th
c-flied out for Karstens in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Tabata (15, Narveson), Ronny Cedeno (22, Loe)
3B - Josh Harrison (1, Narveson)
HR - Ryan Ludwick (12, Dillard)
RBI - Ryan Ludwick (71)
Team LOB - 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeff Karstens (L,9-7) 7622150 3.09
Tony Watson 1444110 3.81
Joe Beimel 1122101 5.33
IBB - Counsell by Jeff Karstens, McGehee by Tony Watson
HBP - Counsell (by Jeff Karstens)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 103-65, Tony Watson 25-17, Joe Beimel 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 7-9, Tony Watson 1-1, Joe Beimel 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 29, Tony Watson 8, Joe Beimel 5
Game Information
Attendance - 0
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Chris Conroy, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Paul Schrieber