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(Sunday, June 3rd)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 6, Milwaukee 5
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Andrew McCutchen clubbed the go-ahead two-run homer during a three-run fifth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates slipped past the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-5, in the finale of a three-game set at Miller Park.
Clint Barmes delivered a solo home run and added an RBI single, while Rod Barajas and Garrett Jones also roped solo shots for the Pirates, winners in three of their last four contests.
James McDonald (5-2) contributed a base hit offensively and was solid on the mound, allowing three runs -- one earned -- on four hits and one walk to go with eight strikeouts over six innings to collect the win. Joel Hanrahan allowed a solo homer in the ninth, but settled down to record his 14th save.
"You never know what's going to happen when they say 'play ball,' but I've been around long enough to know that can happen," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the teams combining for seven home runs. "It's good to get a series win here, but I'm not going to be dancing in the streets."
Nyjer Morgan, Brooks Conrad and Martin Maldonado hit solo homers, while Rickie Weeks and Taylor Green also knocked in runs for the Brewers, who dropped two of three in this series after completing a four-game sweep of the Dodgers earlier in the week.
Michael Fiers (1-1) allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings to take the loss. He struck out eight hitters.
Trailing 2-1, the Pirates took the lead for good in the fifth. McDonald got the Pirates off to a good start with a leadoff base hit and McCutchen followed three batters later by lacing a cutter over the wall in left-center to conclude a nine-pitch battle. Jones then jumped all over a hanging breaking ball from Fiers, sending it over the center-field wall to give the Pirates a 4-2 advantage.
"I think command problems were the reason he got into trouble," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Fiers' performance. "The home run to McCutchen was on 3-2 cutter up and over the plate. I thought we played a good ball game, they just played a little bit better. It was a tough one to lose."
Pittsburgh used the long ball again in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-2 when Barajas rocketed the first pitch he saw from reliever Kameron Loe into the seats in left-center.
Morgan pulled the Brewers within two, 5-3, in the home half of the inning when he got a fastball from McDonald and deposited it over the wall in left, and Maldonado made it a one-run game in the seventh when he crushed his first career home run over the wall in left-center.
Jason Grilli was summoned from the Pittsburgh bullpen in the eighth and got into some hot water with a one-run lead. After getting the first two outs, he walked Green and Weeks. Ryan Braun came up to pinch-hit and crushed the first pitch he saw deep to right, but it just didn't have enough to get out and settled in the glove of Jose Tabata to end the inning.
Barmes gave the Pirates some breathing room in the ninth with his solo shot and Conrad answered with a leadoff rocket into the right-field seats in the home half to make it 6-5.
Hanrahan got Maldonado to fly out, but then walked pinch-hitter George Kottaras. He regained his composure and induced a game-ending 4-6-3 double play from Norichika Aoki.
Earlier, Milwaukee struck first in its first at-bat. Morgan reached base on an error by Barmes with one out, stole second and came around to score on a double by Green. Weeks followed with a base hit up the middle to score Green for a 2-0 Brewers lead.
Casey McGehee doubled to left with a man down in the second and scored two batters later on a single into right by Barmes to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez sat out after leaving Saturday's game with an injury...This was the second time this season that a pair of Pirates batters have hit back-to-back home runs. It also occurred on April 25 against the Colorado Rockies...Pittsburgh improved to 6-39 at Miller Park since the start of the 2007 season...This was the first time the Pirates have hit four home runs in a game since May 28, 2011.
06/03 18:29:57 ET
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