MILWAUKEE (AP) - Corbin Burnes threw six solid innings of four-hit ball, Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in Milwaukee's four-run eighth inning and the Brewers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-0 Saturday night.
With the win, Milwaukee moved into a tie with the Cincinnati Reds, one game behind second-place St. Louis in the NL Central. The top two teams in each division qualify for the postseason.
Burnes continues as the best starting pitcher on the Brewers' staff. He is 4-0 in his last five starts, with 47 strikeouts and six walks in that span. Against the Royals, he struck out nine.
The Royals best scoring chance against Burnes came with two out in the second when they got a runner to third. Burnes caught Ryan O’Hearn looking at a called third strike to get out of the jam.
Braun foiled Royals manager Mike Matheny’s strategy of issuing an intentional walk to Christian Yelich with two out and a runner already on. Braun followed with his 351st home run. He had left Friday night’s game with low back tightness and was a game-time decision.
Devin Williams retired the side in order in the seventh and eighth, including four strike outs. He has 47 strikeouts in 23 innings of relief.
Drew Rasmussen, who picked up his first major-league win with an inning of relief in Friday night’s 9-5 win, retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve the shutout.
Jacob Nottingham’s two-base hit off Royals reliever Scott Barlow in the eighth tacked on a big insurance run. Orlando Arcia singled and took third on Barlow’s errant pickoff throw.
Kris Bubic (1-6) allowed just a hit and an unearned run in 5 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old left-hander struck out seven, but tied his season-high with four walks, including two in the third that led to the Brewers’ only run.
Luis Urías walked and scored on a throwing error by second baseman Nicky Lopez. Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi got in the way as Lopez fielded Avisaíl García’s roller up the middle. Lopez stepped on second, but then threw wildly to first.
BREWERS: Braun left Friday night’s game with lower back tightness after hitting a single in the fourth inning. Braun has battled a lower back issue all season. However, he felt good enough for manager Craig Counsell to pencil him in at DH in Saturday’s game.
The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin. Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic. Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
ROYALS: RHP Brad Keller (4-2, 2.06 ERA) looks to make his eighth start of the season just as solid as his previous outing, a five-hit shutout and an 11-0 win Sept. 13th against Pittsburgh.
BREWERS: RHP Josh Lindblom (1-3, 5.26 ERA) comes off the bereavement list for his ninth start of the season and first against the Royals.