Houser (5-5), allowed one run, struck out five and walked two in his longest outing since last August. While he wasn’t particularly efficient — allowing at least one baserunner every inning but the sixth — Houser had little trouble keeping the slumping Pirates at bay.
Willy Adames had three hits for the Brewers, and his 13th home run of the season in the first inning off JT Brubaker (4-8) gave Milwaukee a lead it never came close to relinquishing.
Jace Peterson and Jackie Bradley Jr. also hit solo shots off Brubaker in the third. Tyrone Taylor’s two-run triple in the sixth gave the NL Central leaders a four-run cushion.
The Brewers’ current 10-game run matches the franchise’s longest regular-season winning streak since 2003. Milwaukee won 12 straight in 2018, but four of those victories came in the playoffs.
This group appears to be heading in that direction.
The Brewers improved to a season-best 17 games over .500 at 50-33. They are a major league-best 29-10 since May 22.
The Pirates, meanwhile, are heading in the opposite direction. Pittsburgh has dropped five straight, scoring all of six runs in the process.
Bryan Reynolds went 2 for 4 with his team-high 15th homer, but the rebuilding Pirates are on pace for a 104-loss season.
Brubaker has been the team’s best starter over the first half, but hasn’t won in over a month. He’s not exactly getting lit up — he entered the night with a respectable 4.03 ERA during a winless June — but the Pirates simply aren’t scoring any runs when he’s on the mound. Pittsburgh has scored more than three runs just twice in Brubaker’s last six starts.
Brewers: INF Kolten Wong went to the 10-day injured list for the third time this season with left calf tightness. Manager Craig Counsell said Wong should return after the All-Star break. … RHP Corbin Burnes received treatment on his sore left knee Friday after exiting Thursday night’s win in the eighth inning after slipping on the mound. The team expects Burnes to make his next scheduled start next week against the New York Mets.
Pirates: Placed INF Erik González on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain. The team also transferred RHP Trevor Cahill (strained left calf) to the 60-day IL. Pittsburgh called up INF Wilmer Difo from Triple-A Indianapolis to take González’s spot on the roster. … RF Gregory Polanco, who is dealing with hip inflammation, struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh.
Milwaukee: LHP Eric Lauer (2-3, 4.50 ERA) will make his first career start against the Pirates on Saturday. Lauer is coming off six shutout innings in a win over Colorado last Sunday.
Pirates: Have yet to announce a starter for Saturday.
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