for this game

Brewers edge Pirates after Garza ejected

Sep 21, 2014 - 4:31 AM Pittsburgh, PA ( - Logan Schafer hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a key NL Central battle Saturday night.

The victory came almost two hours after Brewers starter Matt Garza was ejected for hitting Pirates star Andrew McCutchen twice, giving an already tense game an extra spark.

After the Pirates wasted several scoring opportunities, the Brewers got a key double from Lyle Overbay, who chopped a ball over first baseman Gaby Sanchez's head to move Elian Herrera from first to third.

Herrera scored on Schafer's fly ball to left field off Mark Melancon (3-5) and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth for his 43rd save.

The Brewers, after dropping the three-game series opener 4-2 on Friday night, pulled within 3 1/2 games of Pittsburgh again for the second NL wild-card spot.

The Pirates had a five-game winning streak snapped and fell 3 1/2 games behind first-place St. Louis with eight games left. The Cardinals beat Cincinnati and would have clinched a playoff berth with a Milwaukee loss.

Garza was ejected immediately by home plate umpire Marty Foster after hitting McCutchen on the arm in the fifth inning. The right-hander, who also beaned the Pirates center fielder in the third, punched his glove, apparently upset that the fastball trailed too far inside.

It came after both benches were warned when Pirates starter Edinson Volquez threw inside to Brewers star Ryan Braun leading off the fourth.

"This is what I'm going to say: If people think I hit McCutchen on purpose with a 1-2 count in a game like this, then you're just an idiot," said Garza.

Volquez pitched seven innings, allowing only three hits and three walks. Garza gave up three hits and two walks in his 4 2/3 innings.

The Pirates wasted prime scoring chances in the seventh and eighth innings.

They ran themselves out of one in the seventh after Andrew Lambo went from first to third on Josh Harrison's two-out single to right-center field.

Pitcher Will Smith threw over to first, catching Harrison as he broke for a steal, and Harrison was thrown out at the plate by Overbay after breaking for home.

In the eighth, Brent Morel singled, McCutchen drew a walk and the runners moved up on Neil Walker's bouncer to the first-base side. But after Brandon Kintzler intentionally walked Russell Martin to load the bases, Starling Marte lined out and Zach Duke (5-1) got Gaby Sanchez to ground into a force out to end the inning.

"We couldn't push one across," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "But it's a great time of year to play, and exciting time."

Game Notes

Volquez and Garza each had six strikeouts ... Martin lined out to end the first inning with runners at the corners, but extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff double in the fourth.