J.A. Happ took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Twins went on to beat the Pirates, 2-0. Jacob Stallings had the only hit, a clean double down the left field line with one out in the eighth. Happ left after that and two relievers finished the Pirates off with no more hits.
There isn’t much else to say about the offense. The only other baserunners came on walks to Stallings, Wilmer Difo and Erik Gonzalez, who drew just his second of the season. The top four in the order — Adam Frazier, Phillip Evans, Bryan Reynolds and Colin Moran — have been carrying the team, but they combined to go 0-for-16 with five strikeouts.
The shutout wasted another strong effort from J.T. Brubaker. He went seven, allowing five hits. Both runs came on dingers by the bottom two hitters in the Minnesota order, Willians Astudillo and Jake Cave. The latter just got out and prompted a review. Brubaker needed only 79 pitches, 55 for strikes. He walked nobody and fanned five. His ERA actually got raised a bit, to 2.01.
Sam Howard pitched the eighth and struck out the side. He now has a dozen Ks in 8.1 IP.