Early offense and great pitching push Brewers past San Francisco in series opener

Milwaukee used some early offense and a dominating pitching effort to take a 3-1 win over San Francisco in the first game of big series between two of the best teams in baseball.

The Brewers got off to a good start against reliever Jose Alvarez, who was forced into the starting role on short notice with Johnny Cueto getting put on the injured list Monday afternoon. An Omar Narvaez single in the first gave Milwaukee an early lead and then pitcher Corbin Burnes helped his cause in the second with an RBI single. Luis Urias would add a sac-fly in the eighth for some insurance.

That offense held up because Burnes brought his quality stuff to the mound once again. He ended up going six innings, giving up one run on four hits and striking out nine to improve to 9-4 on the season.

Burnes did leave a two-on, no-out situation for Brad Boxberger in the seventh, but he got out of the jam after allowing an RBI single and kept Milwaukee’s lead at 2-1. Devin Williams pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Josh Hader shrugged off a lead-off double from Kris Bryant to earn his 28th save of the season.

Jace Peterson had three hits for the Crew, Christian Yelich had a hit for a ninth-straight game and all but two position players had at least one hit in the game.

Milwaukee is now 2-2 this season against the Giants, the team that owns the best record in baseball. The Brewers also moved to 9.5 games up on Cincinnati in the NL Central and saw their magic number to clinch the division drop to 21.

It’ll be the Brewers and Giants again Tuesday night.