MILWAUKEE – Brent Suter has turned out to be the wild card in the wild card chase for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Rookies Keston Hiura and Trent Grisham each hit two-run homers and Suter was superb again in middle relief as the Brewers increased their edge for the second NL wild-card spot by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-1 Saturday night.
Suter (3-0) relieved to start the fifth and pitched two scoreless innings. The left-hander, who missed last season’s playoff run after Tommy John surgery, has allowed one earned run in 14⅓ innings in seven appearances since being activated Sept. 1.
“He’s been incredible,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “The amount of pitches that it’s taking him to get through innings is shocking, really. You just don’t see it. He obviously works fast, he’s in the zone, the hitters are not comfortable. But he has essentially controlled middle of games for us.”
The Brewers lead Chicago by three games in the wild-card race after the Cubs lost to St. Louis. Milwaukee remained one game behind Washington for the top wild-card slot.
Suter gave up a home run in his first game back, a 4-3 loss to Houston, but he has not allowed a run since.
“Personally, it’s very fulfilling, I’ll be very honest,” said Suter, drafted in the 31st round out of Harvard in 2012. “Because, last year kind of missing out on it, just being on the bench the whole time, it was cool, but it wasn’t the same as being out there and contributing.”
Milwaukee has won seven of eight and extended its September record to 16-4, tops in the major leagues. The Brewers are 9-2 since losing reigning MVP Christian Yelich to a fractured kneecap.
Hiura staked the Brewers to a 2-1 lead in the first with his 18th home run, atoning for his error at second base in the top half that handed the Pirates a run.
Grisham, who drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth, put the Brewers up 10-1 in the seventh with his sixth homer.
Cardinals 9, Cubs 8
Reds 3, Mets 2
Braves 8, Giants 1
Nationals 10, Marlins 4 (10)
Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2
Rockies 4, Dodgers 2
Angels 8, Astros 4
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 2
White Sox 5, Tigers 3
Rays 5, Red Sox 4 (11)
Royals 12, Twins 5
Mariners 7, Orioles 6 (13)
Athletics 12, Rangers 3
Phillies 9, Indians 4
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5