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Updated: Tuesday, July 8, 2003 12:29 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Pittsburgh Pirates
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 4 2
Milwaukee Brewers
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
9 10 0
W Franklin (5-5)
L Wells (2-4)
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MILWAUKEE 9, PITTSBURGH 2
 

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Wayne Franklin is becoming as close to a sure thing as the Milwaukee Brewers have.

Franklin carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Eric Young and Brady Clark drove in two runs apiece as the Brewers rolled to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates .

Milwaukee has won 10 of the last 11 games started by Franklin, who quickly is developing into the team's most reliable pitcher. He has lost just once since May 11 and has allowed four runs or fewer in each of his last 11 starts.

"That's a real good feeling," Franklin said. "Maybe I could be 10-1 in those starts, but the bottom line is, at the end of the season, it's not what is best for me. It comes down to what is best for the Brewers."

"He's been giving us a series of strong performances lately," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "He's really settling into his spot in the rotation. He's on the attack. He's been real effective."

Franklin (5-5) allowed just three walks and hit a batter in the first five innings before giving up a leadoff triple to Jeff Reboulet in the sixth. He allowed one run and two hits while striking out five in six innings.

"I thought about (the no-hitter) a lot after I gave up the first hit," Franklin said. "It was 3-0 in the sixth, there was a lot of time left. A lot can happen, so you can't be worried about a no-hitter."

The 29-year-old lefthander nearly worked around Reboulet's triple, but Jason Kendall singled with two outs to spoil the shutout. He retired Brian Giles to end the inning and did not return, despite throwing just 85 pitches.

"It was tough," Franklin said. "As a competitor, you don't want to come out of the game ever. But Ned made the right move."

The Brewers already had a 3-0 lead before jumping on Pittsburgh starter Kip Wells for four runs in the sixth, highlighted by Young's two-run single.

Clark, who replaced injured center fielder Scott Podsednik in the second inning, had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and capped the four-run sixth with an RBI single.

Wells (2-4) was shelled for seven runs - six earned - and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is winless in his last six starts.

Kendall extended his hitting streak to 12 games for the Pirates, who failed in a bid for their fifth straight win.

"We've been streaky all year," Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We have to come out, put this one behind us and come back ready to play (Tuesday). We can't afford to lose three or four games in a row anymore."

Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first. Podsednik beat the throw to the plate but was hit in the face by Kendall's glove and left with a cut under his right eye.

Richie Sexson added an RBI grounder in the first and Milwaukee loaded the bases in the fifth before Clark's fly ball to right field scored former Pirate Keith Osik for a 3-0 edge.

Wells loaded the bases in the sixth after Wes Helms and Royce Clayton singled and pinch hitter Keith Ginter was hit by a pitch.

Young plated two runs with a base hit to right field and took second when Wells uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Osik to score. Young came home on Clark's single for a 7-1 cushion.

Milwaukee again loaded the bases in the seventh and tacked on two runs on an RBI groundout by Osik and Royce Clayton 's sacrifice fly.


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