Pirates outlast Brewers in 14, sweep series
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Russell Martin delivered a pinch-hit single in the 14th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to their ninth straight win with a 2-1 decision over the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a three-game series from PNC Park.
Gaby Sanchez started the inning with an infield single that Rickie Weeks could not corral. Sanchez stole second and, after Jordy Mercer walked, scored on Martin's base hit.
"I was just anxiously waiting for an opportunity," Martin said of his game- winning pinch-hit single.
Tony Watson (2-1) tossed the final three of Pittsburgh's 12 scoreless relief innings to earn the win.
Francisco Rodriguez (1-1) pitched out of trouble in the 13th but could not escape the 14th, taking the loss.
Milwaukee took the lead in the second inning after Yuniesky Betancourt reached base on an error and moved to third on Martin Maldonado's base hit. Logan Schafer dropped down a bunt to score Betancourt and give the Brewers the lead.
The game was delayed in the bottom of the second for two hours and 20 minutes due to a rain delay and neither Milwaukee's Kyle Lohse nor Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton, the starting pitchers, returned.
"It was a tough game for us," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "You got Lohse pitching and he's been pitching so well that you want him out there and circumstances didn't allow us. Once we got too long with the rain delay we didn't feel right bringing him back out."
The Pirates picked up their first hit with two outs in the fifth inning against Tyler Thornburg, who tossed five scoreless innings in relief.
Pittsburgh appeared to tie the game in the seventh when Sanchez crushed a fastball to left field, but Schafer sprinted to the wall in left-center field and made a leaping catch well over the fence to preserve the lead.
The Pirates were able to break through in the eighth. Starling Marte delivered a one-out single and moved to second on Neil Walker's ground out. Andrew McCutchen lined a two-out single to center field to tie the game at one.
While the Pittsburgh Pirates struggled to hit early in the game, the Milwaukee Brewers fell into a funk in the latter portions. The Brewers had two of their four hits in the first two innings and Maldonado had three of the club's hits.
Brandon Inge struck out with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth against Michael Gonzalez, who walked two but survived his inning.
Milwaukee dodged another threat in the 13th. Marte legged out a double on his base hit to shallow left-center field. He moved to third on Walker's ground out before Rodriguez intentionally walked McCutchen and issued a free pass to Josh Harrison to load the bases. Pedro Alvarez, who had a 12-game hitting streak coming into Sunday, chopped into a double play to end the threat.
Pittsburgh has won 10 of its last 11 games ... The Pirates earned their first three-game sweep of the Brewers since August 17-19, 2009 ... Pittsburgh has won its last nine home games that have been decided by one run ... Pittsburgh is 24-13 against the National League Central this season ... Alvarez went 0- for-6, ending his hitting streak ... Pittsburgh has won eight of its last nine games against Milwaukee ... The Brewers were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded four men on base and the Pirates were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base.
06/30 23:41:16 ET