MILWAUKEE -- Back-to-back ninth-inning home runs by Jesus Aguilar and Domingo Santana snapped the Brewers' streak of 16 scoreless innings, but Milwaukee's comeback attempt fell short in a 3-2 loss to the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.The Brewers missed an opportunity to gain on the Cubs in the
MILWAUKEE -- Back-to-back ninth-inning home runs by Jesus Aguilar and Domingo Santana snapped the Brewers' streak of 16 scoreless innings, but Milwaukee's comeback attempt fell short in a 3-2 loss to the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.
The Brewers missed an opportunity to gain on the Cubs in the National League Central. Chicago fell to the Reds on Sunday, so Milwaukee remains 2 1/2 games back in the division. The Brewers' lead at the top of the NL Wild Card standings is three games.
"We're not trying to think about that," Aguilar said. "We've got to control what we can control, and all we can control right now is going out there and winning games. We can't worry about what anybody else is doing. We've just got to worry about ourselves."
Pirates starter Trevor Williams continued his second-half dominance with six shutout innings. He scattered two hits and a pair of walks while striking out seven and now has a 1.19 ERA since the All-Star break.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell juggled his starting rotation to get Jhoulys Chacin -- who entered the game with a 2.28 ERA against the Pirates this season -- on the mound for the series finale. Chacin held up his end of the bargain, allowing two runs over five innings, but Milwaukee's offense struggled for the right-hander's second straight start.
"He pitched well," Counsell said. "He did his job, for sure."
Christian Yelich went 0-for-4, snapping his streak of reaching base at 30 consecutive games. It was the longest active streak in the NL and second-longest run in baseball, trailing only the Astros' Alex Bregman, who extended his streak to 42 games on Sunday.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Aguilar approaches milestone: A 100-RBI season seemed like a foregone conclusion for Aguilar when he went into the All-Star break with 70. He moved one step closer Sunday with a home run to lead off the ninth -- just his eighth of the second half and first of September -- to give him 99 RBIs.
"Close," Aguilar said. "It's kind of hard not to think about it. I'm right there. Hopefully, it will come soon."
Knebel puts up another zero: Reliever Corey Knebel took over for Chacin in the sixth inning and struck out out a pair while walking one in a scoreless inning. Knebel has yet to allow an earned run since returning from a two-week "mental break" with Triple-A Colorado Springs. In eight outings, he's struck out 15 and walked only one batter while holding opponents to an .080 average.
Milwaukee has been held to three runs or fewer in 10 of its 16 games against the Pirates this season and fell to 5-11 in the season series. The Brewers are on pace for their worst showing in the regular-season series against Pittsburgh since going 7-12 in 2013.
They've done a great job, at least against us," Aguilar said. "They've shown they can pitch real well."
The two teams meet one more time this season for a three-game series that starts on Friday at PNC Park.
HE SAID IT
"It's a good message for us the rest of the season -- every day's a tough day. We're treating it like that. The other side is trying to get after it, as well. They're not going to give you anything, there's no question about that. We're quiet with the bats. We pitched really well again this weekend, just a little quiet with the bats the last two days." -- Counsell
Left-hander Wade Miley (4-2, 2.23 ERA) starts on Monday when the Brewers open a three-game series at 7:10 p.m. CT against the Reds at Miller Park. Miley has held opponents to two runs or fewer in 12 of his 13 starts this season, and he's allowed two runs over 13 1/3 innings between two starts against Cincinnati. He'll square off against right-hander Anthony DeSclafini (7-5, 4.80), who is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in two starts against Milwaukee this season.
Andrew Wagner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.