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                === Walker's HR powers Pirates past Brewers ===
 
 Milwaukee,  WI (Sports Network) - Neil Walker clubbed a three-run homer in the
 seventh inning to help the Pittsburgh Pirates reclaim sole possession of first
 place in the NL Central with a 5-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of
 a three-game series at Miller Park.
 
 Jose  Tabata finished  with three hits and  two RBI for the Pirates, who moved
 one  game ahead of  St. Louis in the division standings. The Cardinals lost to
 the Reds in Cincinnati earlier Monday.
 
 Pittsburgh  starter Charlie Morton  (7-3) gave up two runs -- one earned -- on
 seven hits and two walks over seven innings.
 
 "It  was a blue-collar effort for Charlie because there was only the one 1-2-3
 inning and every other inning there was work to be done," said Pirates manager
 Clint Hurdle.
 
 Norichika  Aoki  and Jean Segura  each had two  hits atop the Brewers' lineup,
 while  starter  Tyler Thornburg (1-1) allowed  two runs on six hits and walked
 three in six full frames.
 
 "I  thought his fastball  was good all game. He had a great changeup today. He
 didn't  throw many  breaking balls until later  in the game, but that became a
 good  pitch for  him. It was a  nice job by him," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke
 said about Thornburg.
 
 Pittsburgh  clung to  a  2-1 lead  heading into  the  seventh. Tom  Gorzelanny
 relieved  Thornburg and  left  the  game with  left  shoulder tightness  after
 yielding a leadoff single to Morton.
 
 Tabata then singled off Alfredo Figaro, who surrendered Walker's no-doubter to
 right-center field.
 
 The  Brewers  got a gift run  in the bottom  of the inning, when third baseman
 Pedro Alvarez whiffed on the relay throw from the outfield.
 
 Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
 
 Milwaukee had plenty of chances to build a sizeable lead, placing at least one
 runner  in  scoring position in  each of the first  five innings. All the team
 generated, however, was Logan Schafer's RBI single in the second.
 
 The combination of Clint Barmes and Tabata helped the Pirates seize the lead.
 
 Barmes  singled  to begin the  third, advanced  on Morton's sacrifice bunt and
 scored  on a Tabata  base hit. Two innings later, Barmes led off with a double
 and Tabata followed another sac bunt with his second run-producing single.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Morton  has  allowed two  earned runs or  less in six  straight starts ... The
 Pirates  has won three consecutive games in Milwaukee for the first time since
 April  30-May 2,  2004 ... Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen extended
 his  hitting streak  against Milwaukee to 11 games after going 2-for-4 ... The
 Pirates  began  a nine-game road  trip ...  The Brewers finished 1-for-11 with
 runners in scoring position.
 
 
 
 
 09/02 19:33:22 ET