Brewers keep playoff hopes going with win over Pirates

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MILWAUKEE, Wi. - Eric Thames hit his 29th home run, Domingo Santana went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Tuesday night.

The Brewers pulled within two games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs who were playing the New York Mets.

Gerrit Cole (11-10) took his first loss in 10 road starts since the Atlanta Braves beat him 5-2 on May 22. He slipped to 8-1 away from PNC Park over that stretch after allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings. He tied his season-high with 10 strikeouts in his fifth start against Milwaukee this season. He beat Milwaukee 8-1 on June 19 at Miller Park, striking out a season-high 10 for the first time.

Manager Craig Counsell turned to the bullpen to protect the 5-2 lead. Jeremy Jeffress, Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes, Anthony Swarzak and Josh Hader each turned in a scoreless inning. Jeffress (3-0) was the pitcher of record. Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 40 chances.