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Pirates hang on to beat Brewers

Alex Presley and Pedro Alvarez each had three RBI and the Pirates survived wild innings in the eighth and ninth to hold off the Brewers 9-8 on Monday night in Milwaukee.

The Pirates snapped a 12-game losing streak at Miller Park in Milwaukee in a marathon of a game that took over four hours to see completion. A crowd of 41,222 looked on as the Pirates collected 13 hits and Joel Hanrahan earned his 40th save of the season, placing him at third for all-time saves in a season in Pirates baseball history. The Pittsburgh offensive expose saw four Pirates–Alex Presley, Xavier Paul, Pedro Alverez and Chase d’Arnaud–with multiple hits in the contest.

Both starting pitchers gave up large offensive numbers, with the Pirates’ Charlie Morton allowing eight hits and five runs, all earned, in five innings pitched as well as putting three men on base with walks. Milwaukee’s Shaun Marcum allowed seven earned runs on ten hits, three walks and only two strike outs.

The Pirates bullpen did well in relief of Morton, allowing only four hits and three runs after his departure. Relief pitcher Daniel McCutchen (5-3) was credited with the win.

A solo homerun from Alex Presley, one of his three RBI, to start the game and three runs in the top of the second as a result of a few seeing-eye singles by Pedro Alvarez and Presley, brought the Pirates to a quick 4-1 lead.

Three doubles off three Morton fastballs in the bottom of the fourth brought the score to 4-3 in favor of the Pirates. Yuniesky Betancourt and Corey Hart each had an RBI double in the inning, shifting the momentum for the home team.

A huge fifth inning added three runs for the Pirates and two runs for Milwaukee. The Buccos got on the board thanks to a Xavier Paul triple, his fifth of the season, followed by two walks to load the bases and capitalized with a two-out, two-run Alvarez line drive double to left that scored Paul and Derrek Lee. A third run was later added on a wild pitch that allowed Garret Jones to score from third.

The game was tied once again when as a result of three two-out walks by the Pirates, one of which was with the bases loaded, and timely hitting by the Brewers, the game was evened at 8-8.

The Pirates added the go-ahead run in the seventh as Presley collected his twevlth double of the season over the head of Nyjer Morgan in deep center field, which scored Michael McKenry.

Hanrahan made the bottom of the ninth exciting, with a single and two wild pitches that allowed the runner to advance to third before a heads up play by second basemen Neil Walker got the runner at home, ending the scoring threat for the Brewers.

The Future’s So Bright
The Pirates scrappy center fielder was 3-5 with three RBI in this outing, which included a homerun and a double. Although he is relatively small for the majors, only 5’9” 190 lbs, he has shown his bat has more pop then would be expected and he has the ability to deliver runs in crucial situations. Look for this young man to be a big part of the Pittsburgh Pirates program in the years to come.

On Deck
The Pirates are set for the second game of their final series of the 2011 campaign that is to be played in Milwaukee, September 27th at 8:10 pm. On the docket for the Pirates is Ross Olendorf and for the Brewers Randy Wolf is scheduled to take the mound.

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