Brewers 5, Pirates 0
Davis surprised the Pirates with curveballs and two-seam fastballs. He allowed just four hits in seven innings, and Brady Clark hit a two-run double to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Davis (10-9) snapped his three-game losing streak and beat the Pirates for the first time in four starts since the All-Star break. He was 0-1 with two no-decisions in the previous three starts, including his shortest stint of the season. Davis allowed a season-high six runs and six walks in just four innings on July 2 against the Pirates.
If the Pirates were expecting the same stuff from Davis, he fooled them.
“They’re looking at tape from me the last three times I’ve faced them,” he said. “They’ve seen fastball, cutter. That’s pretty much it.”
This time he kept them off-balance by throwing curveballs and two-seamers mixed in with his usual stuff.
“They’ve never seen my two-seamer before, either,” he said. “So, it was two pitches they’ve never seen before. I ended up throwing quite a few of them.”
The Brewers turned two double plays, including one with runners at the corners and one out in the top of the seventh to help Davis, who struck out five and walked four.
The Pirates had been 3-0 at Miller Park and 8-1 overall against the Brewers this season.
“You’re not going to hit from time to time, but you still need to find ways to win ballgames,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Tonight, we just shot ourselves in the foot.”
The Brewers chased Sean Burnett (5-3) in the third with five runs on three hits, a hit batter and a throwing error by the rookie left-hander.
Burnett reloaded the bases by hitting Geoff Jenkins with a pitch, then walked Wes Helms to force in a run. Lyle Overbay hit a two-hopper back to Burnett, who threw wide of shortstop Jack Wilson covering second as Clark scored. Jenkins came home on the throwing error.
“There were a couple of plays I should have made, and it cost the team,” Burnett said. “I made just a couple of mental errors. I bobbled the ball and panicked, but I guess I’m young. I make mistakes and learn from it.”
It was Burnett’s shortest start of the season and it snapped his five-game winning streak. He opened with a no-decision and then two losses before becoming the only rookie pitcher to win five consecutive starts this season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Benson was 8-8 with a 4.22 ERA in 20 starts. The Pirates also sent minor league INF Jeff Keppinger to the New York Mets and received RHP Matt Peterson and INF Jose Bautista. … Brewers 2B Junior Spivey is expected to be out six months after he underwent successful surgery on his left shoulder. … Burnett threw 31 strikes out of 52 pitches. … Davis singled off Willis Roberts in the fourth, snapping an 0-for-49 slump dating to Sept. 7, 2003.