Pirates end 7-game losing streak vs Brewers with 6-3 win
PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates finally beat the Milwaukee Brewers.
Chris Stewart had three hits and three RBIs, and Charlie Morton pitched six strong innings as the Pirates won 6-3, ending their seven-game losing streak against the Brewers.
''Regardless of who we're playing, we have to win,'' Morton said. ''We're a good team. We can beat anybody and we've just got to win.''
The Pirates pulled within four games of St. Louis for first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals had their game at Cincinnati suspended in the eighth inning tied 2-2.
Stewart hit a two-run single that capped a three-run fourth inning that put the Pirates ahead for good 3-2. The backup catcher, starting for resting Francisco Cervelli, added an RBI single in the sixth.
Stewart tied his career high with his third three-hit game of the season and the fifth of his nine-year career.
''Sometimes smart hitting is just finding the holes in the infield,'' Stewart said with a smile. ''That's how it was for me tonight.''
Morton (9-7) snapped a three-start losing streak, allowing two runs and three hits while walking two and striking out two.
Mark Melancon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 45th save in 47 chances.
The Brewers had been unbeaten against the Pirates since the All-Star break, sweeping two three-game series at Milwaukee and winning the opener of the four-game series Thursday night.
Jimmy Nelson (11-12) lost for just the second time in six decisions against the Pirates this season, giving up four runs and four hits in five-plus innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
Adam Lind hit a two-run home run, his 19th, in the first inning off Morton after Elian Herrera doubled to stake the Brewers to an early lead. Logan Schafer had two hits for Milwaukee.
The Pirates stretched their lead to 6-2 in the seventh inning when Jung Ho Kang hit an RBI double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Neil Walker.
Hernan Perez had a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth for the Brewers, who loaded the bases before Tony Watson got pinch-hitter Ryan Braun to hit an inning-ending groundout.
''(Watson) kept the game in place,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''He is very resilient, so solid and very effective against very good hitters. We needed a stop right there and he gave it to us.''
Jordy Mercer drove in the Pirates' first run with an infield single in the fourth when Nelson walked the bases loaded and also gave up Stewart's two-run single.
''I just didn't command the ball the way I was supposed to,'' Nelson said.
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy (concussion) missed his third straight game and will be examined Saturday by concussion specialist Mickey Collins at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Pirates: LF Starling Marte (left shoulder discomfort) was held out of the lineup after being hit by a pitch from Brewers RHP Wily Peralta on Thursday night but entered the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement.
THIRD AT FIRST
Pirates 3B Aramis Ramirez made the third start at first base of his 18-year career, all coming within the last four games. Pedro Alvarez was on the bench again.
DAY OF REST
Braun, normally the right fielder, and shortstop Jean Segura were rested. The Brewers beat the Pirates in 13 innings on Thursday night in a game that lasted four hours, 44 minutes and came on the heels of a game Wednesday night at Miami followed by an early morning arrival in Pittsburgh.
Brewers: LHP Zach Davies (1-0, 3.97 ERA) will make his third major league start Saturday night and is coming off his first victory Monday in which he held the Marlins to one run in seven innings.
Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (7-10, 4.56 ERA) is 1-4 with a 5.65 ERA in his last seven starts.