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Milwaukee at Pittsburgh

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Milwaukee (78-54)000000000050
Pittsburgh (61-68) «10010000x241

Bucs pitchers toss five-hitter, cool off Brewers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Thompson began his major-league career Wednesday. Jason Grilli restarted his career a little more than a month ago.

That duo combined to help beat the team that's been playing as well lately as any in major league baseball.

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Thompson pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his big-league debut, Grilli won for the first time in nearly two years as four Pittsburgh relievers combined on a five-hitter in the Pirates' 2-0 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The NL-Central leading Brewers lost for just the fifth time in their last 29 games.

Thompson allowed four hits while walking two and striking out one. He was on a pitch count after throwing just four innings in each of his previous two minor-league starts.

"I was a little nervous but it wasn't too bad," Thompson said. "I got here [Tuesday] so I had a chance to get used to the clubhouse and the ballpark. I was around most of the guys in spring training and they reached out and made me feel welcome. So the nerves weren't as bad as they might have been."

Grilli (1-0) followed with 2 2/3 shutout innings, then Jose Veras and Joel Hanrahan finished with one inning each.

Hanrahan notched his 32nd save in 35 opportunities by striking out the side to work out of a jam. He had lost in his two previous appearances, both against Cincinnati.

Thompson, 24, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game. He was needed to fill in for All-Star right-hander Kevin Correia, who went on the disabled list Monday with a strained oblique muscle.

A first-round draft pick of the Florida Marlins in 2004, the left-handed Thompson was claimed off waivers by the Pirates from the Washington Nationals last December. He went 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in three games, two of them starts, for Indianapolis after spending most of the season at Double-A Altoona, where he was 4-7 with a 5.16 ERA in 28 games, including 12 starts.

"Poise is the word I kept using over and over in the dugout to describe Aaron," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "He had a slow heartbeat. He looked polished out there, like he had done it a number of times. He stepped into a difficult situation against a really good team and did well. We're proud of him."

Grilli earned his first win since Aug. 27, 2009, when he was pitching for Texas against the New York Yankees. He missed all last season after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery in spring training and pitched this season with Philadelphia's Triple-A Lehigh Valley farm club before being granted his release and signing with the Pirates on July 21.

"I'm just thankful for the opportunity to be pitching in the major leagues again," Grilli said. "I don't like to think back to when I got hurt last spring but I really wondered if I'd ever play again. I put in a lot of hard work, with a lot of support from my family, and I've made it back.

"It's nice to get a win again but I'd gladly give it to Aaron," Grilli added. "It's his day, a day he'll never forget."

The Pirates scored both runs on sacrifice flies, one by Andrew McCutchen in the first inning and the other by Neil Walker in the fourth. Jose Tabata had two of Pittsburgh's four hits.

Shaun Marcum (11-4) lost for the first time in eight starts since the All-Star break, as he gave up two runs and four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out four.

"He grinded," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He does a great job when he doesn't have his great command and still figures how to get out of innings."

Ryan Braun had two hits for Milwaukee.

The Brewers threatened in the ninth against Hanrahan. Braun hit a leadoff single and Prince Fielder walked. Hanrahan, though, rebounded to strike out Casey McGehee, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy.

"We had a few chances but we couldn't get the run across and some of the credit has to go to the Pirates' bullpen," Milwaukee second baseman Josh Wilson said. "The bullpen shut us down."

Notes

  • Pittsburgh placed LF Ryan Ludwick on the 15-day DL before the game with back spasms, creating a roster opening for Thompson.
  • Milwaukee LHP Chris Narveson, who beat the Pirates on Monday night, will not start again until Sept. 3 at Houston because of off days in the schedule Thursday and next Monday. Narveson will work in relief until then, a role he may assume if Milwaukee reaches the postseason - it has no left-handers in the bullpen.
  • Brewers OF Carlos Gomez, who has been on the disabled list since July 21 with a broken left clavicle, will be examined by team doctors Friday. If cleared, Gomez will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Wisconsin on Saturday and be activated Sept. 1 when the roster limit expands from 25 to 40.
  • Pirates INF Chase d'Arnaud (broken right pinkie finger) and OF Alex Presley (bruised left hand) have been deemed ready to return from their rehab assignments at Indianapolis but will remain in the minor leagues for now because Pittsburgh does not have room on its roster for either player.
  • The Pirates pitched their 10th shutout and the Brewers were blanked for the 11th time.
  • The Pirates open a four-game series at St. Louis on Thursday night as Charlie Morton (9-6, 3.42 ERA) pitches against the Cardinals' Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.45). Morton is 6-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 starts against NL Central teams. Cardinals INF/OF Skip Schumaker is 9-for-17 (.538) lifetime against Morton, and RF Lance Berkman is 5-for-10 (.500) with two home runs. Jackson is 2-0 with a 3.79 ERA against Pittsburgh in three career starts.
  • Milwaukee begins a six-game homestand Friday night with the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs.
 
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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Aaron Thompson makes the most of his major-league debut against the Brewers, tossing 4 1/3 shutout innings. (Getty Images)
Aaron Thompson makes the most of his major-league debut against the Brewers, tossing 4 1/3 shutout innings. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

J. Tabata
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Corey Hart, RF4010012 .272
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF4000013 .262
Ryan Braun, LF4020011 .330
Prince Fielder, 1B3000122 .298
Casey McGehee, 3B3010112 .241
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4000015 .257
Jonathan Lucroy, C4010022 .287
Josh Wilson, 2B1000100 .241
   a- Craig Counsell, PH-2B1000000 .172
Shaun Marcum, P1000001 .143
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
   b- Nyjer Morgan, PH1000000 .313
    Tim Dillard, P0000000 .000
    John Axford, P0000000 .000
Totals3005039  
a-flied out for Wilson in the 7th
b-flied out for Saito in the 8th
Batting
SH - Shaun Marcum (10)
SB - Corey Hart (5, 2nd base off Thompson/McKenry), Ryan Braun (29, 2nd base off Thompson/McKenry), Jonathan Lucroy (1, 3rd base off Thompson/McKenry)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Marcum-Betancourt-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Shaun Marcum (L,11-4) 6422340 3.38
Takashi Saito 1000020 2.37
Tim Dillard 0.2000000 4.81
John Axford 0.1000000 2.26
WP - Shaun Marcum (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 113-71, Takashi Saito 12-9, Tim Dillard 8-7, John Axford 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 5-7, Takashi Saito 1-0, Tim Dillard 1-1
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 23, Takashi Saito 3, Tim Dillard 2, John Axford 1
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, LF4120001 .281
Josh Harrison, 3B3110000 .267
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Andrew McCutchen, CF1001110 .270
Neil Walker, 2B2011000 .279
Garrett Jones, 1B2000101 .244
Xavier Paul, RF3000022 .264
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000002 .256
Michael McKenry, C3000020 .234
Aaron Thompson, P0000100 .000
    Jason Grilli, P1000010 .000
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1000000 .262
    Brandon Wood, 3B0000000 .216
Totals2324236  
a-grounded out for Veras in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Tabata (17, Marcum), Josh Harrison (6, Marcum)
SF - Andrew McCutchen (4), Neil Walker (7)
SH - Josh Harrison (3)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (75), Neil Walker (75)
CS - Jose Tabata (7, 2nd base by Marcum/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Cedeno-Walker-G. Jones
E - Michael McKenry (5, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Thompson 4.1400210 0.00
Jason Grilli (W,1-0) 2.2000040 3.15
Jose Veras (H,25) 1000010 2.95
Joel Hanrahan (S,32) 1100130 1.73
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Thompson 68-40, Jason Grilli 33-24, Jose Veras 13-10, Joel Hanrahan 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Thompson 6-5, Jason Grilli 2-2
Batters Faced - Aaron Thompson 18, Jason Grilli 8, Jose Veras 3, Joel Hanrahan 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18013
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Sam Holbrook