THOSE were the Pirates we came to know and love during the past few weeks. After falling behind yet again at Miller Park, the Bucs pulled off a big comeback and managed to shut Milwaukee down late to get out of Wisconsin with a rare victory.
Jeanmar Gomezâ€˜s start went about how most expected it to go. He labored early on and only managed to go four innings and gave up a couple runs, but at least managed to keep the Pirates in the game. After allowing an early run and loading the bases in the first, he got out of it without further damage and followed with zeroes in the next two innings. In the fourth, Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky Betancourt hit back-to-back homers. Whatever, 3-1. Justin Wilson took care of the next two innings with relative ease, getting the Bucs to the seventh down just two.
The more frustrating thing early on in the game was the Bucsâ€™ inability to do much off rookie Hiram Burgos. Well, except for Pedro Alvarez and Michael McKenry, who crushed solo homers in the second and seventh innings respectively. Besides that, though, Burgos shut down the Bucs and allowed just two other hits (both singles) over seven innings. Gomez had managed to give the Pirates a chance, and it looked like they werenâ€™t going to capitalize.
After McKenryâ€™s homer made it a 3-2 game in the top of the seventh, the Brewers got to Wilson in his third inning to get the run back and make it 4-2. It was about to get a lot worse with men at the corners and one out, but Bryan Morris came in and got an enormous double play off the bat of Ryan Braun.
Down two in the 8th, the Pirates went to work off the opposing bullpen, as they have so many times in the last few weeks. John Axford was todayâ€™s victim. Travis Snider reached on a lucky bloop hit to lead off, setting the stage for Starling Marte. Just as he did yesterday, Marte delivered a game-changing homer â€“ this time demolishing a 95 MPH fastball that was below the strike zone. The kid has been simply unbelievable so far this year. Tie game. Still, the Bucs werenâ€™t done. Jose Tabata singled and stole second with two outs and Brandon Inge at the plate. Inge continued his miraculous run as a Pirate with a bloop base hit to put the Bucs ahead. Somehow, heâ€™s hit safely in all eight of his games as a Pirate. When Rickie Weeks kicked the ball well into the outfield, Inge chugged all the way to third and later scored when Pedro ripped a sharp single off lefty Mike Gonzalez. The Pirates led by two thanks to the absolutely ridiculous rally.
As usual, a lead in the eighth turned into a win thanks to Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli â€“ both were on point yet again. And with that, the Pirates have themselves a win at Miller Park. I donâ€™t need to tell you how good that feels.
Tabata was injured as he slid in to second on his steal and had to come out of the game. James McDonald pinch ran and scored the go ahead run.
Morris ended up with his first career win, and it was well-deserved because of that game-saving DP. Heâ€™ll probably still be demoted to make room for Jose Contrerasâ€¦#FreeBryanMorris
After a huge game yesterday that had us hoping he was back on track, Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
With McKenry behind the plate instead of Russell Martin, the Brewers stole four bases.
The Bucs lost two out of three, but this win will have them feeling pretty goodâ€“not only because they finally won in Milwaukee, but because it finishes off a very solid road trip. The pitching has continued to struggle but the bats have remained hot, and now the Bucs get their first off day in forever and head home for five games against the Nationals and Mariners. You probably shouldnâ€™t get TOO excited about a rare win at Miller Park (the Bucs won their first series there last year Â but then reverted to normalcy) but a sweep would have taken pretty much all the wind out of their sails after such a great stretch coming in. Now they still have some momentum going in to a fairly workable homestand.
Pirates 6, Brewers 4 / Box / 2013 Record: 16-12 / Next: Friday, vs. Nationals, 7:05