Two-run homer lifts Brewers over Buccos
MILWAUKEE — Corey Hart’s two-run homer in the ninth inning Sunday lifted the Milwakee Brewers to a 6-5 victory against the Pirates.
The Pirates have lost six in a row and head into the All-Star break with a 30-58 record. At this point last season, they were 38-50.
It was the fifth blown save in 24 chances this season by closer Octavio Dotel (2-2).
Jim Edmonds began the winning rally with a pinch-hit double, which bounced over the center field wall. Dave Bush pinch-ran for Edmonds.
With one out, Hart — who before the game was named an All-Star starter — hit a one-ball pitch over the left field wall. It was his second career walkoff homer.
Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead.
Ronny Cedeno began the inning with a bunt single off closer John Axford (5-1). Delwyn Young lined a pinch-hit single to left field, moving Cedeno to third.
McCutchen flew out to right field. The ball was shallow enough for Hart to make a throw, but catcher got the ball on the bounce a couple of feet in front of the plate as Cedeno slid in safely.
Reliever Joel Hanrahan (3-1) was unable to hold a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning.
Ryan Braun led off with a single and Prince Fielder walked. Hanrahan struck out Casey McGehee on a pitch in the dirt and got George Kottaras to fly out. But on an 0-2 pitch, Carlos Gomez slapped a soft, RBI single into shallow right field.
Rookie right-hander Brad Lincoln worked six-plus innings and got a no-decision. The Pirates starter allowed three runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out three.
In the second inning, the Pirates collected four straight hits off lefty Randy Wolf to take a 3-0 lead. It was only their third multi-run inning out of 54 total innings on the road trip.
With one out, Lastings Milledge homered to center field, marking the second time in his career that he’s has gone deep in back-to-back games.
Ryan Doumit singled. Cedeno singled, moving Doumit to third. Lincoln bounced a single into right, scoring Doumit. Cedeno came home on McCutchen’s sacrifice fly.
Trailing 3-1 in the fourth, the Brewers tied it on solo homers by Ryan Braun and George Kottaras.
Pedro Alvarez struck out in first two at-bats against Wolf — the first time swinging on four pitches, the second time looking on three pitches. All seven pitches were fastballs.
In the sixth, Wolf again came at Alvarez with only fastballs. After swinging through an 89 mph offering that was up and in, Alvarez stepped out of the box and tapped his head, as if reminding himself about something.
The next pitch was outside. But the one after that was knee-high and 89 mph. Alvarez whacked it high over the center field wall to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead.