The Milwaukee Brewers continued to set the pace in the early stages of the Major League Baseball season, winning their ninth straight game on Sunday by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 4-1 victory starring starting pitcher Kyle Lohse.
The Brewers, who have a 10-2 record in their best start for 27 years, remained three games clear at the top of the National League Central, while in the National League East, the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep of Washington to move a game clear of the Nationals.
Lohse (2-1) gave up one run and struck out nine in 8-2/3 innings, while fanning five straight across the seventh and eighth innings.
Lohse was pulled with two outs in the ninth after giving up a single and Will Smith then struck out Pedro Alvarez on three pitches to record his first career save.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Atlanta’s Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman each hit two-run homers off Gio Gonzalez to power the Braves to a 10-2 win over the Nationals.
Washington lost to the Braves for the fifth time in six games this season and began the day by placing third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right thumb.
Atlanta starter Aaron Harang (2-1) allowed one run in six innings.
San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford led off the 10th inning with a homer into the waters of McCovey Cove to lift the Giants to a 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies.
Crawford turned on the second pitch thrown by Rex Brothers (1-1), notching his first career walkoff homer and first splash homer.
Pablo Sandoval homered and Angel Pagan drove in two runs for the Giants.
The Rockies have lost 15 of their past 18 games in San Francisco.
In Washington, Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer that broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning, lifting the Athletics over the Seattle Mariners 3-0.
Cespedes pulled a 2-2 slider from Charlie Furbush (0-1) into the left-field bullpen after Jed Lowrie drew a leadoff walk and Josh Donaldson added a solo home run in the ninth.
In Phoenix, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, winning 8-6 with Adrian Gonzalez homering for the fourth consecutive game.
Gonzalez’s three-run shot off Trevor Cahill (0-4) in the third inning gave him 10 RBIs in the series, while Matt Kemp and Juan Uribe also homered for the Dodgers.
Dodgers starter Dan Haren (2-0) allowed three runs in 5-2/3 innings.
Also on Sunday, Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run homer off John Axford in the ninth inning, rallying the White Sox to a 4-3 win over the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians scored twice in the top of the ninth and Axford (0-1) came in seeking his fifth save in as many chances, but he issued a leadoff walk to Jordan Danks, who stole second, and one out later Ramirez homered over the left-field fence.
At Yankee Stadium, New York beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 with the aid of another disputed replay ruling that led to the ejection of Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Boston thought they had turned an inning-ending double-play in the fourth inning, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi challenged the call and after a video review the call was reversed, the inning continued and New York scored another run.
Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer for the Yankees among his three hits and was also pressed into his first career appearance fielding at first base as New York tried to cover for injuries.