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Milwaukee Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff dominates punchless Pirates in 3-0 shutout

Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings, center, tags out the Milwaukee Brewers’ Eric Sogard at home plate with umpire C.B. Bucknor making the call during the third inning in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. (AP photo)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff allowed one hit and struck out 10 while working into the seventh inning as the Brewers beat the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Woodruff (1-1) retired 19 of 21 batters, allowing a swinging bunt single to Phil Evans in the first. Pittsburgh didn’t manage another baserunner until Evans walked leading off the seventh. Woodruff’s stuff was so overpowering the Pirates only hit one ball to the outfield during his 6 1/3 innings, a lazy flyball to left by Gregory Polanco in the fifth.

Woodruff threw 61 of his 92 pitches for strikes against a lineup that is struggling to produce. The Pirates are hitting a majors-worst .171 during their 2-4 start.

Ben Gamel gave Woodruff all the support he would need with a third-inning two-run homer over the right-field seats off Joe Musgrove (0-2). The ball clipped the top of a wall on the concourse. Otherwise, it likely would have ended up in the Allegheny River. Keston Hiura homered in the sixth for the Brewers. Josh Hader worked a perfect ninth for his first save as Milwaukee finished its opening trip 3-3.

Musgrove worked 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. The Brewers punished his two mistakes. Hiura turned a 93-mph fastball into his second home run in as many nights.

Christian Yelich’s sluggish start continued. The 2018 NL MVP went 0 for 5 and is now 1 for 27 (.037) in his first season since signing a $215 million contract extension.

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