Pittsburgh Pirates blank Milwaukee Brewers, 7-0

Brewers relief pitcher Jared Hughes, right, tags out the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell as he tries to score from third during the sixth inning Monday in Milwaukee. (AP photo)

MILWAUKEE — After dominating the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field over three days, the Milwaukee Brewers were rendered almost lifeless by Pittsburgh rookie Steven Brault and the reeling Pirates.

Brault and four relievers combined on a three-hitter to lift the Pirates to a 7-0 victory over Milwaukee on Monday night.

Milwaukee didn’t get a runner past first base against the Pirates and fell 2 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL Central after outscoring the Cubs 20-3 in a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field over the weekend.

“There was not much good that happened,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “It was a frustrating day. There was never any point where we got anything good started.”

Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Jordy Mercer homered for Pittsburgh, which staggered into the game with a five-game losing streak.

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff walks back to the dugout after the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday in Milwaukee. (AP photo)

Brault (1-0), making his second start of the season, used his fastball to keep the Brewers off-balance, only allowing a fourth-inning walk to Ryan Braun and a fifth-inning leadoff single to Jesus Aguilar. He struck out six in six innings for his first win in the majors. Brault also helped at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double and a bases loaded, two-RBI single in the sixth to give Pittsburgh a 6-0 lead.

Milwaukee rookie Brandon Woodruff (1-2) allowed six runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings.