Trevor Williams combined with two relievers for a two-hitter, and Jordy Mercer drove in the only run in the seventh inning Monday as the Pittsburgh Pirates slipped by the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0.
Pittsburgh, which picked up its ninth shutout win, has won four of its past five games and is looking to regain a foothold in the National League Central. Monday was the opening of a three-game set against the first-place Brewers.
Milwaukee has lost three straight. The fourth-place Pirates climbed to within six games of the Brewers.
The starters, Williams and Milwaukee’s Jhoulys Chacin, dueled into the seventh inning.
Williams (6-4) threw a one-hitter over seven innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks. He threw 96 pitches. The only hit against him was Jonathan Villar’s two-out single in the fourth after Hernan Perez had walked. Williams struck out Erik Kratz to end the inning.
Williams had not won or gone as many as seven innings since May 15, when he also threw seven shutout innings but got plenty of runs behind him in beating the Chicago White Sox 7-0.
In the interim, Williams was 0-2 with three no-decisions in five starts, lasting only three innings in each of his previous two.
Kyle Crick pitched a scoreless eighth for Pittsburgh, and closer Felipe Vazquez gave up a leadoff single to Christian Yelich in the ninth before setting down three in a row for his 14th save.
Chacin (6-2), who had won his past six decisions, gave up one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, with two strikeouts and two walks. He lasted at least six innings for the third straight start.
In the seventh, Colin Moran led off with a single to center but was caught stealing. Francisco Cervelli walked and moved to third on Josh Bell’s single. That chased Chacin, even though he was only at 74 pitches.
Reliever Josh Hader struck out Gregory Polanco, but Mercer lined a double down the line in left to bring home Cervelli.
—Field Level Media