Thames homers twice, Brewers move into tie for top wild card

Milwaukee Brewers' Eric Thames is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Eric Thames hit two home runs, the Brewers took a combined perfect game into the seventh inning and Milwaukee beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Sunday to match Washington atop the NL wild-card standings.

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

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.

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.

Brewers' pitchers held the Pirates, who lost their ninth straight, without a base runner until Bryan Reynolds' single off Gio Gonzalez with one out in the seventh. Reynold's liner went off the heel of Arcia's glove as he lunged for the ball.

All-Star Brandon Woodruff made his second start since missing two months with a left oblique strain. He pitched two innings but departed for a pinch-hitter in the second after throwing 38 pitches.

Jay Jackson struck out the side in the third and Gonzalez (3-2) and Drew Pomeranz combined for four scoreless innings.

Josh Hader got four outs for his 35th save in 41 tries.

Arcia gave the Brewers an early lead with a solo home run in the second off Trevor Williams (7-8). The lead grew to 2-0 when Thames led off the fourth with a home run on the first pitch from Williams.

Thames belted a two-run homer off Michael Feliz in the sixth to extend the lead to 4-0.

The Pirates scored three times in the seventh, the first when Arcia failed to field a slow roller off the bat of pinch-hitter Melky Cabrera. Cole Tucker's two-run single off Hader cut the lead to 4-3.

Williams, who was tagged for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings with two homers and three walks in his last outing, gave up three hits and two runs in five innings. He walked two and struck out six.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Pirates: C Elias Diaz was out of the lineup. Diaz left in the fourth inning of Saturday night's game with a right knee injury, sustained while stopping a pitch in the dirt.

UP NEXT

Pirates: Pittsburgh opens a three-game series at home against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday with Mitch Keller (1-5, 7.74 ERA) getting the start.

Brewers: After a day off on Monday, Adrian Houser (6-7, 3.83) will take the mound vs. Sonny Gray (11-7, 2.80) as Milwaukee opens a three-game series at Cincinnati.