Pittsburgh, PA – Francisco Liriano pitched six strong innings to help the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the second of three from PNC Park.
Liriano (7-3) won for a fourth time in his past five starts as he gave up just one run on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts for the Pirates, who are on an eight-game winning streak.
"It's all about location for me and I just seem to locate the ball better here, especially throwing the fastball for strikes," Liriano said of pitching at home. "It's that and guys making good plays for me."
It's the longest winning streak for the Pirates since the team ran off 10 straight from June 26-July 5, 2004 and the team with the best record in the majors is now 20 games over .500 (50-30) on the season.
Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez each hit a solo home run as the Pirates improved to 8-4 over the Brewers this season.
Yuniesky Betancourt drove in the only run of the game for the Brewers, who have dropped their past four games. Donovan Hand (0-1) suffered the first loss of his career as he gave up two runs on five hits with two strikeouts in five innings.
"I thought Donnie threw the ball really well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of his starter. "He understands how to pitch. He understands how to throw strikes."
The Pirates got on the board in the second inning when Alvarez turned on a 1-2 fastball and drilled it over the right-field wall for his 20th home run of the season.
In the fourth, Jones hit the first pitch of the inning over the wall in center field for his seventh home run of the season and a 2-0 lead.
The Brewers got a leadoff triple from Carlos Gomez to start the fourth. After Aramis Ramirez struck out, Jonathan Lucroy hit a grounder to second and Neil Walker came home with the ball to nail Gomez at the plate.
Milwaukee finally got on the board in the sixth as Betancourt's RBI single plated Gomez.
That was it though, as Tony Watson, Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli each worked a scoreless inning, with Grilli setting the Brewers down in order in the ninth for his 27th save of the season.
The Brewers batted 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base ... Liriano moved to 6-2 in 10 games against the Brewers ... Alvarez extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games ... Before the game, Milwaukee recalled pitcher Tyler Thornburg from Triple-A Nashville.