The Milwaukee Brewers were looking for some offense after a tough end to their recent trip. They've found it at Miller Park.
Milwaukee goes for a ninth straight home win and a 10th in a row overall against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Wednesday's series finale.
After striking out 12 times and being held to four hits in Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers , the Brewers (14-11) have rebounded from their 3-3 trip with 28 total hits - 16 for extra bases - in a pair of wins over Pittsburgh (15-12). Yuniesky Betancourt , Jean Segura and Rickie Weeks all went deep in Tuesday's 12-8 victory after Milwaukee launched a season-high five homers in Monday's 10-4 win.
The Brewers, winners of 12 of 15, hadn't put up double-digit runs in back-to-back games since Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 against Houston.
"They play well here. They swing the bats well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Milwaukee, which has lost just seven times in 53 home games in this series since 2007, goes for the sweep with Hiram Burgos (1-0, 3.27 ERA) getting his first look at the Pirates. The right-hander makes his third career start after throwing six innings of three-run ball in Friday's 7-5 loss to the Dodgers.
"I was too much over the plate. But I did adjustments, and I kept a couple of hitters off balance, and the defense made really good plays for me," Burgos told the Brewers' official website. "I just tried to keep it close."
The Pirates' pitching performances in this series haven't come close to their previous two games, wins at St. Louis over the weekend that moved them into first place in the Central. Now percentage points behind Milwaukee for third, Pittsburgh will turn to Jeanmar Gomez (1-0, 2.63) as it tries to finish a 10-game trip with a winning record.
Gomez, solid in five relief appearances, has taken over Jonathan Sanchez ' spot in the rotation. Sanchez was designated for assignment on Tuesday, a day after being demoted to the bullpen - he surrendered two runs on Monday. The left-hander drew a six-game suspension on Saturday after hitting St. Louis' Allen Craig with a pitch the day before.
Gomez came on in relief in that 9-1 loss, yielding three runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Hurdle will give Gomez his first start since Sept. 29 while with Cleveland instead of calling up Andrew Oliver or Gerrit Cole . The Pirates, instead, brought up Bryan Morris from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday to take Sanchez' spot in the bullpen.
"There'd be no benefit to calling someone up for one time, when we've got a guy in-house who has started in the past," Hurdle told the Pirates' official website.
Gomez has never faced Milwaukee.
The Brewers are probably getting tired of facing center fielder Andrew McCutchen , who is 5 for 9 with a homer and three RBIs in the series after going 1 for 22 to open the trip. Five of McCutchen's 20 hits during his 10-game hitting streak in Milwaukee have left the park.
Betancourt, the only Brewer on the roster to have faced Gomez, is 2 for 6 with a homer in that matchup. Betancourt and Pirates catcher Russell Martin , who hit his fourth homer in four games on Tuesday, have six long balls since April 16 - tied for second in the majors during that stretch.
The Brewers have 19 homers and are averaging 7.1 runs during their Miller Park winning streak.
|April 27, 2013||Travis Snider||Day-to-Day||Left side discomfort|
|April 26, 2013||Neil Walker||Day-to-Day||Left game - right index finger|
|April 09, 2013||Wandy Rodriguez||Day-to-Day||Left game - left leg strain|
|March 26, 2013||Brandon Inge||15-Day DL||Right scapula soreness|
|March 26, 2013||Brandon Inge||15-Day DL||Right scapula soreness|
|March 22, 2013||Francisco Liriano||15-Day DL||Fractured right forearm|
|April 28, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right index finger|
|April 12, 2013||Alex Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 07, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 05, 2013||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Neck spasms|
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Clint Hurdle insisted the Pittsburgh Pirates weren't thinking about their long losing streak against the Milwaukee Brewers .
Starling Marte hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth inning and Brandon Inge had a go-ahead RBI single to rally Pittsburgh to a 6-4 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday, snapping the Pirates' nine-game skid to the Brewers.
"We don't make (the losing streak) as big as everybody else does because a lot of these guys weren't here," Pittsburgh manager Hurdle said. "They don't feel the baggage. They hear the noise but after a while, you don't need to hear the noise because you know what you need to do. You need to play better and win games. That's how you stop the noise."
Pedro Alvarez , who homered earlier in the game, added a run-scoring single to cap a four-run eighth as Pittsburgh won for the 10th time in its last 15 games and ended Milwaukee's eight-game home winning streak.
"Today was a perfect day that people thought we just weren't in a good place," Hurdle said. "We were just behind. We put up a big inning late, we were able to close it out and you can't ask for much more than that."
Bryan Morris (1-1) got the last two outs of the seventh when Ryan Braun hit into a double play for his first career victory. Mark Melancon pitched the eighth and Jason Grilli the ninth for his 11th save in 11 opportunities.
"Last night I walked away from the game with my first major league loss," Morris said. "And today I throw two pitches and get the win. It is a good feeling. Hopefully there is more to come."
John Axford (0-3) gave up all four runs while getting just two outs in the eighth for the Brewers, who were 11-0 when leading after seven innings.
"He's been pitching well," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "It was one of those games."
Axford, removed as the Brewers' closer earlier this season, replaced starter Hiram Burgos to start the eighth leading 4-2, and gave up a broken-bat, infield single to pinch-hitter Travis Snider .
Marte followed with his two-run homer to left-center on a low fastball, his third of the season and second in two days, to tie the score.
"This year, I've been more comfortable," Marte said. "Looking for the right pitch. I feel very good at the plate, thanks to God."
Jose Tabata singled and stole second two outs later. He injured his left leg on the slide and was replaced by James McDonald .
McDonald scored the tiebreaking run when Inge blooped a single over the head of second baseman Rickie Weeks , who inadvertently kicked the ball toward the outfield for a two-base error that allowed Inge to advance to third.
"I'll take `em any way I can get them," Inge said. "I love being up in key spots. I've played long enough and have enough time that those situations are the ones you live for. The ones you dream when you are a little kid."
Axford was booed off the field when he was replaced by Michael Gonzalez , who quickly allowed a single to Alvarez to put the Pirates up 6-4.
"All four of the pitches that were hits appeared to be out of the zone," Axford said. "In all honesty, I went back and looked at the tape of them, too. The one to Marte was on the plate, but it was below his knees. It was down and I even had a little bit of a run on it."
In the seventh, Pittsburgh's Michael McKenry hit a solo homer to right-center off Burgos to trim Milwaukee's lead to 3-2. The Pirates have hit 11 homers in the last four games.
Burgos allowed four hits and two earned runs in seven innings. The right-handed rookie struck out six and walked one.
The Brewers regained their two-run lead in the bottom of the seventh on Jean Segura 's run-scoring single.
Milwaukee took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on consecutive solo homers by Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky Betancourt .
Braun had an RBI single in the first to put the Brewers up 1-0.
Alvarez's fifth homer, a solo shot in the second, tied the score.
Pittsburgh's Jeanmar Gomez made his first start of the season after five relief appearances. The right-hander threw four innings and allowed four hits and three runs - two earned - to go with three strikeouts and two walks.
Gomez replaced left-hander Jonathan Sanchez in the rotation after he was moved to the bullpen Monday with an 0-3 record and 11.85 ERA. On Tuesday, Sanchez was designated for assignment.
NOTES: After the game, Milwaukee OF Khris Davis was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. . Hurdle said Tabata would see the doctor and be evaluated on Thursday. . Pittsburgh finished its 10-game road trip with a 6-4 record and has won the final game in each of its last six series. ... Gomez is hitting .509 (27 for 53) with five homers in his last 16 games. . C Jonathan Lucroy 's stolen base in the first inning was his first of the season. ... Pittsburgh will play 18 of its next 28 games at PNC Park. ... Before the game, Roenicke indicated Betancourt would become the regular first baseman once Aramis Ramirez (left knee sprain) returns. Betancourt has been filling in for Ramirez at third base, but he's expected to come off the disabled list any day.