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Pittsburgh at Milwaukee

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Pittsburgh (57-72)000002010381
Milwaukee (75-55) «20013000x670

Braun homers, drives in three to help Brewers win third straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Able to wave the bat free and easy, Ryan Braun got right into the swing.

Hampered lately by a tight back, Braun homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Saturday night for their third straight victory.

The All-Star slugger had missed nine of the previous 12 games with an intercostal strain -- he described the pain as muscles tightening on both sides of his rib cage that affected his ability to breathe.

"I felt good out there tonight," Braun said. "I am able to swing without any pain."

The NL wild-card leaders moved to 20 games over .500 for the first time since finishing the 1992 season in the AL East. Milwaukee has beaten Pittsburgh 11 straight times at Miller Park since May 2007.

Braun was almost hit by Pirates pitcher Tom Gorzelanny in the fourth. Braun launched the next pitch for a long foul into the upper deck in left field, then sent the next offering into the upper deck in left for his 32nd home run.

"Anytime you get a pitch at 93 or 94 mph near your face, it will focus you a little more and make sure you're ready for the next pitch," he said. "I know he didn't do it on purpose, but it certainly increased my attention level."

Gorzelanny said the pitch Braun hit for a home run was a slider.

"I needed to throw that in the dirt, " he said. "I just left it up a little. Being the hitter that he is, it's never really going to work out in my favor."

Jeff Suppan (9-7) pitched seven innings and earned his fourth straight victory. He left after giving up a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Chris Gomez in the eighth, and Brian Shouse finished the inning. Salomon Torres pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 30 chances.

Brewers manager Ned Yost said Suppan has been pitching well ever since the righty spent two weeks on the disabled list in July with irritation in his pitching elbow.

"He is making the pitches when he has to," Yost said. "He is changing speeds, limiting his mistakes and getting ball hit on the ground."

Suppan helped himself by starting two double plays and picking Nyler Morgan off second base in the first inning.

"Double plays are a pitcher's best friend," Suppan said. "I think I've had a lot more movement on my pitches and I've been able to stay out of big innings."

Gorzelanny (6-8) was recalled from Triple-A before the game but again struggled at Miller Park, giving up six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He was sent to the minors on July 4 after a rough start in Milwaukee in which he allowed eight runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Pirates manager John Russell said Gorzelanny was better in his first start since returning from the minors.

"It wasn't a terrible start," Russell said. "He got ahead and just couldn't quite finish them off. He attacked the zone and was pretty efficient, but the two-strike hits and the two-out runs got him."

The Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the first on Prince Fielder's RBI single and Corey Hart's sacrifice fly.

The Brewers made it 6-0 in the fifth after there were two outs. Rickie Weeks walked, J.J. Hardy singled and both scored on Braun's 34th double. Fielder added another RBI single to increase the lead.

Brandon Moss' RBI groundout and Adam LaRoche's 17th home run of the season in the sixth cut it to 6-2. Jack Wilson had an RBI groundout in the eighth.

Notes

  • The Pirates recalled closer Matt Capps from his rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona. He had been sidelined since July 2 with bursitis in his right shoulder.
  • Pirates C Ryan Doumit did not start Saturday after leaving Friday night's game with symptoms of dehydration.
  • Suppan singled in the third for his third hit of the season.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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'I felt good out there tonight,' Braun says after homering despite playing through back pain.  (AP)
'I felt good out there tonight,' Braun says after homering despite playing through back pain. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, CF4120003 .193
Jack Wilson, SS3001013 .276
Brandon Moss, LF3001010 .255
Adam LaRoche, 1B4121011 .268
Doug Mientkiewicz, RF3000102 .282
Andy LaRoche, 3B4000012 .171
Freddy Sanchez, 2B3010000 .250
Raul Chavez, C3020000 .244
Tom Gorzelanny, P2000003 .125
    Craig Hansen, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
   a- Chris Gomez, PH1110000 .297
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
Totals3038314  
a-doubled for Yates in the 8th
Batting
2B - Nyjer Morgan (4, Suppan), Freddy Sanchez (21, Suppan), Chris Gomez (8, Suppan)
HR - Adam LaRoche (17, Suppan)
SH - Jack Wilson (6)
RBI - Jack Wilson (19), Brandon Moss (18), Adam LaRoche (55)
2-OUT RBI - Adam LaRoche (17)
PK - Nyjer Morgan (1, Suppan)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - F. Sanchez-J. Wilson-LaRoche
E - Andy LaRoche (7, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Tom Gorzelanny (L,6-8) 4.2766331 6.82
Craig Hansen 1.1000110 5.31
Tyler Yates 1000010 5.09
John Grabow 1000020 3.05
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Gorzelanny 94-52, Craig Hansen 16-8, Tyler Yates 14-9, John Grabow 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Gorzelanny 1-8, Craig Hansen 1-2, Tyler Yates 1-1, John Grabow 1-1
Batters Faced - Tom Gorzelanny 22, Craig Hansen 5, Tyler Yates 3, John Grabow 4
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3210101 .230
J.J. Hardy, SS3210100 .279
Ryan Braun, LF4223012 .302
Prince Fielder, 1B4022020 .272
Corey Hart, RF3001011 .285
Mike Cameron, CF3000112 .246
Bill Hall, 3B4000022 .219
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
Jason Kendall, C2000100 .251
Jeff Suppan, P3010001 .116
    Brian Shouse, P0000000 .000
    Craig Counsell, 3B0000000 .224
Totals2967647  
Batting
2B - Ryan Braun (34, Gorzelanny)
HR - Ryan Braun (32, Gorzelanny)
SF - Corey Hart (6)
RBI - Ryan Braun 3 (90), Prince Fielder 2 (78), Corey Hart (79)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (30), Prince Fielder (20)
CS - Prince Fielder (1, 2nd base by Gorzelanny/Chavez)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Suppan-Hardy-Fielder, Suppan-Hardy-Weeks, Hardy-Weeks-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Suppan (W,9-7) 7833031 4.58
Brian Shouse 1000010 2.30
Salomon Torres (S,25) 1000100 2.52
HBP - Moss (by Jeff Suppan)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 98-63, Brian Shouse 9-6, Salomon Torres 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 11-4, Brian Shouse 2-0, Salomon Torres 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 27, Brian Shouse 3, Salomon Torres 3
Game Information
Attendance - 43293
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Mike Reilly