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Cruz breaks slump with 3 hits, Jones cruises as Pirates beat Brewers 4-2 to end 6-game skid

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Cruz breaks slump with 3 hits, Jones cruises as Pirates beat Brewers 4-2 to end 6-game skid
Sport

Sport

Cruz breaks slump with 3 hits, Jones cruises as Pirates beat Brewers 4-2 to end 6-game skid

2024-04-23 10:37 Last Updated At:10:40

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Oneil Cruz broke out of a slump with three hits, rookie Jared Jones allowed one run in six innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates ended their skid at six games, beating Milwaukee 4-2 on Monday night to stop the Brewers' four-game win streak.

Cruz capped a three-run sixth with a two-out, two-run single. He also singled in the second and dropped a double into right-center in the fourth. The 6-foot-7 shortstop was 4 for 44 in his previous 12 games.

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Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Suwinski, center, celebrates with Connor Joe after both scored on a single by Oneil Cruz off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Hoby Milner during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Oneil Cruz broke out of a slump with three hits, rookie Jared Jones allowed one run in six innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates ended their skid at six games, beating Milwaukee 4-2 on Monday night to stop the Brewers' four-game win streak.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Hoby Milner (55) walks to the dugout after handing the ball to manager Pat Murphy during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Hoby Milner (55) walks to the dugout after handing the ball to manager Pat Murphy during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Milwaukee Brewers' Rhys Hoskins (12) celebrates with Blake Perkins (16) as he heads to the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Milwaukee Brewers' Rhys Hoskins (12) celebrates with Blake Perkins (16) as he heads to the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Joe Ross during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Joe Ross during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz singles off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Hoby Milner, driving in two runs, during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz singles off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Hoby Milner, driving in two runs, during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“You look at the base hit that Cruzy got, that ended up being the game-winning base hit, the left-on-left ... we put the ball in play," Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “We moved the ball forward. It's something that we have not been doing. ... Overall, I was really happy with our offensive approach.”

Jones (2-2) gave up four hits and two walks. The 22-year-old struck out seven and has 39 strikeouts to become the fourth major league pitcher since 1893 to strike out at least seven in his first five starts, joining Masahiro Tanaka (2014), Stephen Strasburg (2010) and José DeLeón (1983).

Jones fanned Brice Turang to start the third, making him fall in the box swinging at a slider down and inside.

“Never made someone fall, but it was pretty cool to see. Pretty good pitch,” Jones said. “I was laughing on the inside.”

The Pirates, following an 11-5 start, were outscored 36-9 in back-to-back three-game sweeps by the Mets and Red Sox. The Brewers were coming off a three-game sweep at St. Louis.

David Bednar picked up his third save, allowing only an infield hit by Jackson Chourio in the ninth.

Joe Ross (1-2) gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Milwaukee.

“I feel like I just feel good in my delivery,” Ross said. “I feel like when I feel confident in my delivery, it just kind of comes out. I feel like that's really it. I'm not really trying to do too much.”

Andrew McCutchen led off the first for Pittsburgh with a 414-foot homer to center, his first of three hits. He hit his 1,000th single in 1,473 games with the Pirates in the third.

“It's something I'm familiar with," McCutchen said of batting leadoff. “You get called in by the manager and he's asking something of you, you want to be able to hold up your end of the bargain and try to step up.”

Rhys Hoskins homered off Jones leading off the fifth, then walked to load the bases with two outs in the sixth. Jones retired Blake Perkins on a comebacker to end that threat.

Pirates setup man Aroldis Chapman walked three straight, loading the bases with one out in the eighth. Hunter Stratton entered to limit the damage to one run, getting Hoskins and Perkins to ground out.

“That's the game,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “Credit the pitchers too. That kid, Jones, man. That kid was electric. We didn't get the big hit at the big time.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: RHP Jakob Junis was taken to a hospital during batting practice after being struck in the neck by a line drive off the bat of Pirates INF Alika Williams. Junis, who was placed on the 15-day injured list April 6 because of a shoulder impingement, was said to be “conscious, alert and responsive” in a joint statement from the teams. ... LHP Wade Miley went on the 15-day IL with left elbow inflammation.

UP NEXT

LHP Bailey Falter (1-1, 4.05 ERA) will take the mound for the Pirates in the second game of the four-game series Tuesday. The Brewers had not announced a starter.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Suwinski, center, celebrates with Connor Joe after both scored on a single by Oneil Cruz off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Hoby Milner during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Suwinski, center, celebrates with Connor Joe after both scored on a single by Oneil Cruz off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Hoby Milner during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Hoby Milner (55) walks to the dugout after handing the ball to manager Pat Murphy during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Hoby Milner (55) walks to the dugout after handing the ball to manager Pat Murphy during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Milwaukee Brewers' Rhys Hoskins (12) celebrates with Blake Perkins (16) as he heads to the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Milwaukee Brewers' Rhys Hoskins (12) celebrates with Blake Perkins (16) as he heads to the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Joe Ross during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Joe Ross during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz singles off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Hoby Milner, driving in two runs, during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz singles off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Hoby Milner, driving in two runs, during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed two bills into law Friday that overhaul state oversight of the funeral home industry after a series of gruesome discoveries, including 190 discomposing bodies in a facility, families being sent fake ashes and the unauthorized sale of body parts.

The cases put Colorado's lax funeral home regulations — some of the weakest in the nation — in the spotlight and rocked hundreds of already grieving families.

Some families had ceremonially spread ashes that turned out to be fake. Others said they had nightmares about what their loved ones might have looked like in a decayed state.

“When grieving the loss of a loved one, the last thing a family should worry about is the trustworthiness and professionalism of those entrusted to care for the person who has passed," Polis said in a statement.

The new laws bring Colorado in line with most other states.

One requires regulators to routinely inspect funeral homes and give them more enforcement power. Another implements licensing for funeral directors and other workers in the industry. They would need to pass background checks and a national exam while possessing degrees and work experience.

Previously, funeral home directors in Colorado didn't have to graduate from high school, let alone have a degree.

The funeral home industry was generally on board with the changes though some expressed concern that strict requirements for funeral home directors were unnecessary and would make it difficult to find hirable applicants.

The bill signings follow a rocky year for Colorado funeral homes.

In early October, neighbors noticed a putrid smell coming from a building in the town of Penrose about two hours south of Denver. Authorities soon found 190 decaying bodies there including adults, infants and fetuses.

Some were stacked atop each other. Decomposition fluid covered the floors while flies and maggots swarmed.

Almost two dozen bodies dated to 2019 and some 60 more were from 2020. As the bodies were identified, families who had received ashes learned the cremains weren't their loved ones.

In most states, funeral homes are routinely inspected but no such rules were on the books in Colorado. The owners of the funeral home were arrested in November and collectively face hundreds of charges of abusing corpses and other counts.

Just months later, in February, a woman's body was found in the back of hearse where a suburban Denver funeral home had left it for over a year. At least 30 sets of cremated remains were found stashed throughout the funeral director's home.

Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming, contributed to this report.

FILE - Colorado Governor Jared Polis delivers the 2024 State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in the House of Representatives in the State Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Denver. Polis is set to sign two bills Friday, May 24, that overhaul the state's oversight of the funeral home industry after a series of gruesome discoveries, including 190 discomposing bodies in a facility, families being sent fake ashes and the unauthorized sale of body parts.(Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via AP, File)

FILE - Colorado Governor Jared Polis delivers the 2024 State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in the House of Representatives in the State Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Denver. Polis is set to sign two bills Friday, May 24, that overhaul the state's oversight of the funeral home industry after a series of gruesome discoveries, including 190 discomposing bodies in a facility, families being sent fake ashes and the unauthorized sale of body parts.(Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via AP, File)

FILE - Fremont County coroner Randy Keller, left, and other authorities unload materials that will be used to put up tents at the Return to Nature Funeral Home where over 100 bodies have been improperly stored, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in Penrose, Colo. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is set to sign two bills Friday, May 24, 2024, that overhaul the state's oversight of the funeral home industry after a series of gruesome discoveries, including 190 discomposing bodies in a facility, families being sent fake ashes and the unauthorized sale of body parts.(Parker Seibold/The Gazette via AP, File)

FILE - Fremont County coroner Randy Keller, left, and other authorities unload materials that will be used to put up tents at the Return to Nature Funeral Home where over 100 bodies have been improperly stored, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in Penrose, Colo. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is set to sign two bills Friday, May 24, 2024, that overhaul the state's oversight of the funeral home industry after a series of gruesome discoveries, including 190 discomposing bodies in a facility, families being sent fake ashes and the unauthorized sale of body parts.(Parker Seibold/The Gazette via AP, File)

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