Pirates’ losing streak grows to nine games

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Thames and Orlando Arcia had been hushed at the plate during the Milwaukee Brewers’ crucial homestand. They made some noise Sunday.

Thames hit two home runs, Arcia also connected and the Brewers took a combined perfect game into the seventh inning while beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 to match Washington atop the NL wild-card standings.

“That kind of defines this stretch for us,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “It has been different guys offensively. Today, it was two guys who had been a little quiet and that’s how it works.”

The Nationals lost 5-3 to Miami earlier Sunday, locking them into a tie with the Brewers for the top wild card. Milwaukee owns the tiebreaker over Washington after winning their season series and would host the wild-card game if they finish the season with the same record. Washington has played two fewer games and technically leads Milwaukee by percentage points.

“We’re all feeling it. All of us aren’t planning on going home anytime soon,” Thames said.

Arcia connected in the second, but the shortstop also let a line drive tip off his glove with one out in the seventh for a hit that ended a combined perfect game bid in Milwaukee’s regular season home finale.

Milwaukee has won eight of nine and extended its September record to a major-league best 17-4. The Brewers are 10-2 since losing NL MVP Christian Yelich to a fractured kneecap.

“It’s hard when you’re grinding through September when your body is tired,” Thames said. “But the energy from the crowd and the team, we definitely pick each other up.”


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