MILWAUKEE -- Granted, it was only the 13th road win of the year for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
But in an 8-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, manager Jim Tracy was encouraged to see his team do some of the little things they didn't accomplish in a dismal first half of the season.
Like bringing runners home with two outs, as Pittsburgh did in a three-run, fifth-inning rally against Brewers All-Star Chris Capuano.
"These things that I've been talking about that we did a very good job of here in this series, picking up a base hit at the right time, it changes the perspective on a lot of things," Tracy said.
And a resilient outing by starter Paul Maholm, who recovered from a first-inning, three-run homer by Bill Hall to go seven innings for the victory (4-9).
"To rebound in the manner in which he did after the first three hitters of the game was terrific for a young kid to do that, and it's very encouraging to see that," Tracy said.
Maholm had lost five of six decisions, but made a slight adjustment to his delivery between starts to make his pitches dive more at the plate.
"I finally got comfortable with it and just went right after the hitters and just let them hit it into the ground and let our defense work," Maholm said.
Capuano (10-6) gave up six runs and 11 hits in five innings and threw two wild pitches. He has lost two straight decisions after winning the previous five.
"It's frustrating," Capuano said. "Every game is really big for us right now. I feel like I'm letting the team down a little bit. All I can do is start the new month of August and hope things start to go my way."
Capuano said he didn't get calls on about 10 pitches on the edge of the strike zone.
"He didn't really match up well with the umpire today," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He threw a ton of pitches about a ball length off the corner that he didn't get."
Not that Yost was blaming the umpire for the loss.
"We didn't excel in any phase of the game to be honest with you," he said.
Milwaukee has dropped six of eight but remains in contention for the National League wild card.
"We're kind of spinning our wheels," Yost said. "We need to get some traction."
The Pirates were down 4-3 with two outs in the fifth before surging in front. After a flyout by Jack Wilson and a groundout by Freddy Sanchez, Jason Bay tied it with his 24th home run.
Sean Casey then singled and Joe Randa doubled, setting up Craig Wilson's two-run double that gave the Pirates a 6-4 lead. Capuano struck out Maholm to end the inning and then was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
"It's definitely a benefit to the starter," Casey said of the rally. "He can go out there, and it's a little easier. It's always easier to pitch with a lead."
Pittsburgh added two runs in the ninth on Casey's RBI single and a wild pitch by Dan Kolb.
Maholm gave up seven hits and four runs in seven innings, and added an RBI single in the fourth.
"I was hacking," Maholm said. "He hung a pitch and I hit it. It was just one of those things."
Coming into Wednesday's game, Maholm was 1-7 on the road this season.
Tracy was impressed by the way his young pitcher bounced back from a rough first inning.
"The growth in seeing a guy rebound and finish seven innings as strongly as he did, it's really encouraging," Tracy said.
The Pirates overcame another display of power by Hall, who was 3-for-4 with four RBI. Hall also homered twice in Milwaukee's victory over the Pirates on Monday.
He wasn't happy that his team couldn't hold the lead.
"It is frustrating," Hall said. "There might be a bit of pressing involved, but it is frustrating."
Brewers LF Carlos Lee was injured in the fifth inning when he caught a long fly ball and jammed his glove into the outfield wall. He stayed in the game. ... Brewers manager Ned Yost said he doesn't expect 3B Corey Koskie to return from post-traumatic concussion syndrome "any time soon." ... Tony Graffanino, acquired Tuesday in a trade with Kansas City for reliever Jorge De La Rosa, arrived on a flight from Kansas City less than two hours before game time and started at second base.