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Pirates complete sweep of Brewers in extras

A Russell Martin pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 14th brought in Gaby Sanchez’s game-winning run, capping a rain-soaked bullpen duel at PNC Park, earning the Pirates their ninth straight victory.

 

 

The rain delay dampened the Pittsburgh Pirates (51-30) bats, but the Buccos managed to squeeze out a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers (32-48) and extend their winning streak to nine games with a Russell Martin walk-off single.

 

Charlie Morton made his fourth start of the year since returning from injury and tried to continue his string of strong outings while facing Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse.

 

After a clean first inning, the Brewers scored their only run of the game in the second. After a pop-up to start the inning, Milwaukee’s Yuniesky Betancourt reached first base on a fielding error by Pittsburgh shortstop Clint Barmes. Martin Maldonado followed with a single, moving Betancourt to third. The error proved costly as Logan Schafer put down a solid bunt on a squeeze play to score Betancourt.

 

Lohse picked up two outs in the bottom of the second before a two-hour and 20-minute rain delay ended his afternoon. Milwaukee’s Tyler Thornburg came out to pitch after the delay.

 

Vin Mazzaro replaced Morton and proceeded to pitch five innings of perfect baseball on only 44 pitches. Thornburg ran into some trouble over his five innings of work, but the Pirates failed to cash in on the sparse opportunities.

 

After allowing only one walk through the fourth inning, Thornburg gave up a two-out double to Barmes in the fifth, but Pittsburgh could not push the run across.

 

The Pirates’ finally answered back in the eighth inning after Starling Marte hit a one-out single. A groundout advanced Marte to second, and the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen hit a clutch, two-out single to plate Marte and tie the game.

 

Pittsburgh had a fantastic opportunity for a walk-off victory in the bottom of the ninth after a single and two walks loaded the bases with two outs, but Brandon Inge struck out to end the inning.

 

Over the next three-and-a-half innings, only one batter reached base for either team. In the bottom of the 13th inning, Pittsburgh once again loaded the bases. A Marte double and a pair of walks left the bases full with one out for Pedro Alvarez, but he grounded into a crushing, inning-ending double play.

 

The Pirates recovered the very next inning when Gaby Sanchez led off the 14th with a single. After a Sanchez stolen base and a Jordy Mercer walk, Martin came up as a pinch hitter and laced a single up the middle for the walk-off win.

 

Pittsburgh starts a three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday.

 

 

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