MILWAUKEE — Center fielder Brett Phillips made the highlight reel and blooper reel on the same night, not bad for a Milwaukee Brewers rookie who wasn't even supposed to be in the starting lineup Wednesday.

The last-minute replacement for injured Domingo Santana threw out a runner at the plate in an 8-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Phillips added two hits and three RBIs at the plate. And he had a memorable trip between first and second base on a broken-bat single in the third inning.

Eric Thames hit his team-high 30th homer and Chase Anderson pitched effectively on three days' rest for the Brewers, who moved past St. Louis into second, 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs in the NL Central. The Brewers also moved within 3 games of Colorado for the second wild card spot. Chicago crushed the Mets 17-5, Cincinnati shut out St. Louis 6-0, and Arizona beat Colorado 8-2.

Phillips ended the top of the fourth by throwing a perfect strike to the plate to get slow-footed David Freese, who was trying to score from third on a flyout by Elias Diaz.

"The Phillips play was an enormous play in the game, I thought. An outstanding play," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.

Phillips unleashed the strongest throw measured by Statcast this season, a 104-mph dart from center field to home plate to retire David Freese of the Pirates for the final out of the fourth inning, sealing a double play after catching a fly ball from Diaz.

Phillips’ throw was the second-hardest for an outfield assist ever recorded by Statcast (since 2015), trailing the Yankees’ Aaron Hicks’ 105.5-mph rocket last season.

His strong arm was no surprise. In Phillips’ major league debut against the Giants on June 5, he introduced himself to the Miller Park faithful with a perfect throw to second base to catch the Giants’ Denard Span trying to stretch a double.

The Brewers have used Phillips sporadically since recalling him on Sept. 1 from Class AAA Colorado Springs for his fourth stint in the majors this season. He had a bounceback season in the minors, hitting .305 with a .944 OPS, 19 home runs and 78 RBIs in 105 games for Colorado Springs, while manning all three outfield spots.

Phillips hit a two-run single in a four-run third that also included Thames' shot to left. But he lost his footing and fell to the turf after having to jump out of the way of a throw from the outfield.

Phillips stumbled on his way to second, but still made it safely after a late throw home failed to get the runner.

"Good form on the dive. It was just a little too early, probably 30 feet too early," he deadpanned.

Milwaukee got to Tyler Glasnow (2-7) for five runs, four hits and six walks over 2 2/3 innings in the right-hander's first start since returning from the minors Sunday.

"He stayed aggressive. He used secondary pitches behind in the count," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "But the overall fastball command continued to put him upside down in counts."

Hurdle was thrown out of the game with one out in the first by plate umpire Bill Welke following a called ball on a pitch to Neil Walker that appeared to be in the lower half of the strike zone. It was Hurdle's sixth ejection of the year.

"There's times you know you crossed the line, you pay a penalty. There's times when you make a bad call, you just need to move on. That didn't impact the game greatly. It impacted that at-bat, though," Hurdle said.

Anderson (10-3) gave the battered pitching staff a lift in his first career start on three days' rest. The righty allowed Andrew McCutchen's first-inning solo shot — the veteran outfielder's 200th career homer — before exiting with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth.

"It's cool, but I plan on playing for another 10 years," the 30-year-old McCutchen said of his milestone homer .

Diaz snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a run-scoring infield single that chased Anderson. He started in place of Jimmy Nelson, out for the rest of the season with a right shoulder injury.

Weekend series in Milwaukee 

The Brewers also learned Wednesday that they will host a three-game series this weekend against the Marlins instead of traveling to Miami as originally scheduled, as South Florida recovers from Hurricane Irma. Milwaukee will be the visiting team in its own stadium, Miller Park.

From the perspective of the pennant race, it's a big opportunity for the Brewers as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

"It works out certainly (well) for us," Counsell said before the game. "I'll tell you after the weekend whether it's an advantage or not."

From the infirmary

Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana was a last-minute scratch from the starting lineup with a right upper back muscle injury. ... Pirates right-hander Joaquin Benoit missed a third straight game. He is home in the Dominican Republic because of a family issue.

Pitcher on the way

Five years ago, Aaron Wilkerson was stocking frozen foods at a grocery store. On Wednesday, he was on his way to the major leagues. The Brewers are bringing up the 28-year-old right-hander, Wilkerson’s agent, Burton Rocks, confirmed.

Up next

Counsell was undecided on who would start Friday against the Marlins, though the skipper did say that he would likely rely a lot on his bullpen.


Pittsburgh AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Marte lf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .247

Kontos p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

f-Jaso ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .215

Frazier 2b 4 0 1 0 1 0 .285

McCutchen cf 5 2 1 1 0 0 .274

Bell 1b 4 0 1 0 0 0 .258

Freese 3b 3 0 2 0 0 1 .265

Luplow rf 4 0 2 0 0 0 .255

Diaz c 4 0 1 1 0 0 .233

Mercer ss 2 0 0 0 0 1 .254

Polanco ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .257

Rodriguez lf 1 0 0 0 0 1 .171

Glasnow p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .313

LeBlanc p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200

Bostick ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .222

Moroff ph-ss 2 0 1 0 0 0 .196

Totals 36 2 10 2 1 4

Milwaukee AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Sogard 2b 3 1 1 0 2 0 .274

Thames lf 3 1 1 2 0 1 .240

Broxton ph-cf 2 0 1 0 0 1 .222

Walker 1b 3 1 1 0 2 0 .263

Shaw 3b 4 0 0 0 1 1 .272

Perez rf-lf 4 2 2 1 1 2 .267

Pina c 4 2 2 1 0 1 .277

Phillips cf-rf 4 1 2 3 0 1 .239

Arcia ss 3 0 1 0 1 0 .269

Anderson p 3 0 0 0 0 1 .156

Vogt ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 .232

Totals 34 8 12 7 7 8

Pittsburgh 100 001 000 — 2 10 0

Milwaukee 104 030 00x — 8 12 2

E — Arcia 2 (19). LOB — Pittsburgh 10, Milwaukee 9. 2B — Luplow (3), Walker (19), Pina (21), Broxton (15). HR — McCutchen (25), off Anderson; Thames (30), off Glasnow. RBIs — McCutchen (78), Diaz (18), Thames 2 (58), Perez (49), Pina (41), Phillips 3 (7). SB — Marte 2 (16), Perez (13), Pina (2). CS — Sogard (3).

Runners moved up — Luplow, Arcia, Anderson. LIDP — Diaz. DP — Milwaukee 2.

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Glasnow, L, 2-7 22/3 4 5 5 6 3 7.89

LeBlanc 11/3 1 0 0 0 2 4.52

Sanchez 1 3 3 3 0 0 11.57

Runzler 1 1 0 0 1 1 0.00

Neverauskas 1 2 0 0 0 0 3.32

Kontos 1 1 0 0 0 2 3.62

Milwaukee IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Anderson, W, 10-3 51/3 7 2 1 1 2 2.88

Drake 2/3 0 0 0 0 0 4.39

Barnes 1 0 0 0 0 1 4.41

Wang 0 1 0 0 0 0 13.50

Hughes 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.35

Torres 1 2 0 0 0 1 4.33

Wang pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

Inherited runners-scored — LeBlanc 2-0, Drake 3-0, Hughes 1-0. HBP — Anderson (Glasnow), Hughes (Freese). WP — Sanchez 2.

T — 3:26. Att. — 27,436.

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