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Updated: Friday, July 18, 2003 12:13 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Milwaukee Brewers
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R H E
7 9 2
Pittsburgh Pirates
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
5 9 1
W Franklin (6-6)
L Benson (5-9)
S Estrella (2)
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MILWAUKEE 7, PITTSBURGH 5
 

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- John Vander Wal 's grand slam highlighted a five-run first inning as the Milwaukee Brewers survived a grand slam by pinch hitter Craig Wilson and held on for a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates .

Pittsburgh starter Kris Benson (5-9) got in immediate trouble, allowing a single to Eric Young , walking Scott Podsednik and hitting Geoff Jenkins with a pitch to start the game. Richie Sexson hit a grounder to third and Young scored on a wild throw by Aramis Ramirez .

A former Pirate, Vander Wal followed with his fifth career grand slam, blasting Benson's 0-1 pitch over the center field fence. Three of Vander Wal's grand slams have come this season.

"I actually was just trying to get the ball in the air," Vander Wal said. "He threw me a changeup and lef it in the middle of the plate. I hit it where they couldn't catch it."

Jenkins added a solo homer in the second off Benson and Brewers starter Wayne Franklin (6-6) helped himself in the third with an RBI single off reliever Salomon Torres that made it 7-0.

"To get a start like that, everybody relaxes," Jenkins said. "We have been playing better on the road. There are only two home games left this month, so it's important for us to continue to play well on the road."

Benson did nothing to help his trade value, surrendering six runs and three hits in two innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

"I couldn't throw a strike," Benson said. "I didn't have any control of anything I was throwing up there."

Franklin went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs and six hits. The lefthander struck out two and walked two.

The Pirates got within 7-4 in the fifth inning on Wilson's first career slam and team-record ninth career pinch homer.

They got another run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Adam Hyzdu and put the tying runs on base with none out in the seventh. But Mike DeJean struck out Ramirez on a 3-2 pitch and Brian Giles was caught on the back end of a double steal for a double play.

Pittsburgh squandered another chance in the eighth when Randall Simon led off with a single but was thrown out trying to take third on an infield hit by Jack Wilson .

"It was bad baserunning," Simon said. "I was supposed to look at the third base coach. I didn't and it cost us the game."

Sexson extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double in the fourth. Podsednik reached base for the 41st straight game, the longest current streak in the majors.

Pirates catcher Jason Kendall singled in the seventh so stretch his career-best hitting streak to 19 games.


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