MILWAUKEE -- Zack Greinke fired fastball after fastball, in and out of the strike zone, each one better than the last. And it was his curveball that he kept beaming about.
The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner remained perfect at Miller Park by pitching effectively into the eighth inning, leading the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
"With Zack, we're all expecting him to be this guy that he was a couple of years ago," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I don't know if he'll ever get to that point where he has that kind of full season, but this outing out there tonight, that was really good stuff and along with stuff, great location, which means his delivery was really good."
Greinke is 8-0 with a 3.36 ERA in 10 starts in Milwaukee this year. He allowed a first-inning single to Xavier Paul before retiring 11 straight -- including five consecutive strikeouts to finish two short of the franchise record set by Steve Woodard in 1999.
"Fastball was pretty good. Curve was as good as it's been, slider was good, changeup was good," said Greinke, who had nine strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. "If you've got three pitches going good, you should be fine. I had four."
Milwaukee won its 10th straight at Miller Park against Pittsburgh and is a major league-best 42-15 at home this year.
"It makes it easier when you're out there when you've got a lead and then we kept piling on," said Greinke, who is now 71-71 in his eight-year career. "We play really good at home, I don't know why."
The Brewers built a 4-0 lead against Paul Maholm (6-13) before the Pirates rallied, only to have Braun and Fielder answer right back.
Manager Clint Hurdle said Greinke was so good he had to take a look from a different angle.
"I even came up a couple times in between innings just to check it out to see what it looked like from the home plate monitor," Hurdle said. "Very impressive outing."
Braun hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and led off the eighth with a drive to right for his 22nd homer. Fielder then hit another fastball from Joe Beimel to right field for his 28th homer.
Jonathan Lucroy added a two-out RBI single off Jose Veras and reliever Francisco Rodriguez followed with his first career hit in his second at-bat on an infield single that caused the Brewers bullpen to celebrate wildly.
"That was awesome. Any time we get to see one of our bullpen guys hit, it's awesome," reliever Kameron Loe said. "He's faster than we thought."
Rodriguez warmed up for the ninth, but left after talking to trainer Roger Caplinger. The Brewers said Rodriguez exited with a right leg cramp, but he was stretching his left leg after he awkwardly stepped on the bag to beat Garrett Jones to first for his hit.
"He was actually cramping up in both legs," Roenicke said. "He's doing OK."
After allowing three hits in the first seven innings, Greinke began to tire in the eighth and departed after McCutchen's double. Rodriguez got the final out.
Milwaukee is now 14-2 in a stretch of 16 straight games against NL Central opponents after the Pirates and Cardinals led the division just over two weeks ago.
Josh Wilson singled in Milwaukee's first run in the second. The veteran infielder is one of three Brewers filling in for the injured Rickie Weeks, who is expected to miss two to four more weeks with a badly sprained left ankle.
Casey McGehee tripled in two more runs in the third before Braun's fly ball gave Milwaukee a 4-0 lead and put the Brewers on their way to their 34th home win in the last 37 games against the Pirates.
"We've just got to keep playing our game, keep playing hard and keep doing what we can do and worrying about what we can control," Lucroy said. "You don't want to take anything for granted."
Rodriguez's other at-bat came with the Mets earlier this year. He struck out. ... Fielder has a nine-game hitting streak. ... Brewers right fielder Corey Hart's 11-game hitting streak ended. ... Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada (2-8, 4.80 ERA) faces right-hander Kevin Correia (12-10, 4.78) in Saturday's game. Estrada is starting after left-hander Chris Narveson was placed on the 15-day DL after cutting his thumb and needing eight stitches. ... Narveson will resume throwing Saturday to see how the thumb feels and hopes he can return as soon as he's eligible on Aug. 22.