MILWAUKEE — Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer, Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-1 on Monday night.
Travis Shaw’s leadoff homer in the second put the Brewers ahead 1-0 and set a franchise mark with the Brewers scoring their 16th consecutive run via the long ball.
The Pirates took the lead in the third on Adam Frazier’s two-run single off starter Matt Garza (3-3).
McCutchen extended the lead with a two-run homer in the sixth that chased Garza, who gave up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and recorded three strikeouts.
Cole (5-6) held the Brewers to one run and three hits. He struck out five and walked two. It was the second consecutive quality start for Cole, who gave up one run over seven innings in his previous outing June 13 against Colorado.
Pittsburgh added four runs on five hits in the seventh off reliever Wily Peralta. Cole started the inning with a single, just his third hit in 25 at-bats this season, and scored on Josh Harrison’s double.
The Brewers released reliever Neftali Feliz, who had been designated for assignment Wednesday. Feliz began the season as the team’s closer after signing a one-year, $5.35 million contract, but ongoing struggles led to his removal from the role.
Pirates: RHP Juan Nicasio, who didn’t pitch for two consecutive games due to arm fatigue, was available out of the bullpen. Nicasio has been monitored since he reported “that he felt a little something” on Saturday. “(The trainers) couldn’t come up with anything structurally,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Brewers: 2B Jonathan Villar, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain, could begin a rehab assignment this week. “He’s been progressing at a good pace,” manager Craig Counsell said. . . . The team took a cautious approach with rookie reliever Josh Hader, who warmed up three times in the bullpen on Sunday but didn’t appear in the game. “It’s very rare that you’re going to have somebody up in three separate innings,” Counsell said. . . . Eric Sogard was hit on the left foot by Jhan Marinez’s pitch in the eighth. He slowly limped to first base but remained in the game.
Pirates: Chad Kuhl (1-6) has lost his last six decisions and hasn’t gone more than five innings in any start since April 18. He is 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers.
Brewers: Zach Davies (7-3) is 1-2 with a 9.56 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates. He notched his lone win on May 7 in Pittsburgh, giving up two runs in 5 2/3 innings.