|Milwaukee (41-45) «||3||0||0||1||1||1||0||4||x||10||15||1|
MILWAUKEE -- Cody Ransom expected Pittsburgh to intentionally walk Rickie Weeks to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning of a tie game on Friday night. The Milwaukee shortstop did not expect left-handed pitcher Tony Watson to remain on the mound, however.
But Watson did, and Ransom made him pay by hitting his first career grand slam to lift the Brewers to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates.
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"I was surprised they left the lefty in," said Ransom, a right-handed hitter who was 0 for 4 before delivering the team's fourth grand slam of the season. "There was a righty in the bullpen and I figured they'd probably bring him in. Am I surprised about [the intentional walk]? No, I hadn't done anything today."
Ryan Braun hit two home runs as Milwaukee improved to 40-6 against Pittsburgh at Miller Park since 2007. Martin Maldonado finished with a career-high four hits, all singles, to hand Pittsburgh only its third loss in the last 13 games.
Watson (4-1) entered in the eighth and gave up consecutive singles to Braun and Aramis Ramirez. He struck out Corey Hart, but each runner stole a base on the pitch. The Pirates then intentionally walked Weeks, who had already driven in two runs with a double in the first inning.
"Obviously, we wanted that guy up there," Watson said. "We intentionally walked the guy in front of him to load the bases. We wanted to go right at him, go ahead in the count. With two outs, I was hoping to put something in play and let the defense work."
Ransom, however, hit a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left-center for his eighth homer of the season.
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke wasn't worried in the least.
"I always have that feeling when we have people on base," he said. "It's a lot better to think good things than the other way around. To tell you the truth, I didn't know what he was 0 for."
After the game, members of the media waited to interview Ransom outside his locker while he had to take a drug test.
"That's a Major League Baseball thing," he said. "They tell you when they tell you."
The Pirates had runners on first and second after reliever Manny Parra walked Neil Walker and gave up a single to McCutchen in the seventh. But he got out of the jam by retiring the next three batters.
Francisco Rodriguez (2-4) pitched the eighth.
In the sixth, Braun's second homer tied the score 6-6. Reliever Brad Lincoln hit the first batter he faced, Nyjer Morgan, but he was caught stealing with Braun at the plate. The NL all-star then smacked his league-leading 26th home run to right.
"Whenever you play a 4-hour game, certainly you want to win, because you feel miserable after you lose a 4-hour game," Braun said.
The game was anything but the expected pitcher's duel between Milwaukee's Zack Greinke and Pittsburgh's James McDonald. Both starters entered with 9-3 records but failed to make it to the sixth inning.
Greinke became the first pitcher since Red Faber of the Chicago White Sox in 1917 to start three consecutive team games in a season. But he gave up a solo home run to Pedro Alvarez in the fifth that gave Pittsburgh a 6-4 lead and was lifted in the bottom of the inning for a pinch-hitter. Greinke, 15-0 as a Brewer at Miller Park, allowed five earned runs and seven hits.
"I didn't pitch perfect by any means," Greinke said. "But I'll take at least over 50 percent of the time pitching like that. I didn't pitch perfect, but I wasn't terrible."
McDonald was 7-1 in his previous 10 starts but gave up four earned runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, his third-shortest outing of the season. After a single by Martin Maldonado put runners at first and second with two outs in the fifth, he was replaced by Lincoln. Travis Ishikawa, hitting for Greinke, delivered a single to left to trim the Pirates' lead to 6-5.
"[Pitching coach] Ray Searage said it best," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "He said if we could have hooked up an electrical cord to him, we could have lit up the whole stadium. He was amped up and ready to go. We had a couple of pitchers like that tonight. You get some down time and we weren't real sharp off the mound tonight."
|Cody Ransom's grand slam in the eighth inning, the first of his career, puts the Brewers past the Pirates. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Drew Sutton, LF||5||1||2||1||0||1||0||.297|
|Neil Walker, 2B||4||1||1||3||1||1||2||.291|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||1||3||1||1||0||0||.367|
|Garrett Jones, RF||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.266|
|Casey McGehee, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||4||6||.246|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.232|
|Rod Barajas, C||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.219|
|Gorkys Hernandez, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.100|
|Tony Watson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Clint Barmes, SS||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.205|
|James McDonald, P||1||1||0||0||1||1||2||.143|
|Jared Hughes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Matt Hague, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Brad Lincoln, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|b- Michael McKenry, PH-C||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|a-grounded out for Hughes in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Lincoln in the 8th|
|2B - Drew Sutton 2 (12, Greinke, Greinke)|
|HR - Neil Walker (7, Greinke), Andrew McCutchen (19, Axford), Pedro Alvarez (17, Greinke)|
|RBI - Drew Sutton (12), Neil Walker 3 (44), Andrew McCutchen (61), Pedro Alvarez (51)|
|2-OUT RBI - Drew Sutton (2), Neil Walker 3 (21), Andrew McCutchen (21), Pedro Alvarez (19)|
|PK - Gorkys Hernandez (1, Rodriguez)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Barmes-Walker-McGehee|
|E - Drew Sutton (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Brad Lincoln (BS,1)||2||3||1||1||0||1||1||3.04|
|Tony Watson (L,4-1)||1||3||4||4||1||1||1||5.00|
|IBB - Weeks by Tony Watson|
|HBP - Morgan (by Brad Lincoln)|
|Pitches-Strikes - James McDonald 109-63, Jared Hughes 6-4, Brad Lincoln 48-25, Tony Watson 35-21|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James McDonald 6-5, Brad Lincoln 2-2, Tony Watson 1-1|
|Batters Faced - James McDonald 26, Jared Hughes 2, Brad Lincoln 9, Tony Watson 7|
|Norichika Aoki, RF||3||0||0||0||2||1||3||.297|
|Nyjer Morgan, CF||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.226|
|a- Carlos Gomez, PH-CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||3||4||3||1||0||0||.315|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||4||2||1||0||1||0||5||.272|
|Corey Hart, 1B||5||1||3||0||0||2||0||.259|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||3||2||1||1||2||0||2||.200|
|Cody Ransom, SS||5||1||1||4||0||1||3||.214|
|Martin Maldonado, C||5||1||4||0||0||0||0||.270|
|Zack Greinke, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.194|
|b- Travis Ishikawa, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.250|
|Jose Veras, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Manny Parra, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Jeff Bianchi, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|Francisco Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Axford, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-popped out for Morgan in the 8th|
|b-singled for Greinke in the 5th|
|c-struck out for Parra in the 7th|
|2B - Rickie Weeks (16, McDonald)|
|HR - Ryan Braun 2 (26, McDonald, Lincoln), Cody Ransom (8, Watson)|
|SH - Zack Greinke (3)|
|RBI - Ryan Braun 3 (64), Rickie Weeks (30), Cody Ransom 4 (33), Travis Ishikawa (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (23), Rickie Weeks (14), Cody Ransom 4 (13), Travis Ishikawa (7)|
|SB - Ryan Braun (16, 3rd base off Watson/McKenry), Aramis Ramirez (3, 2nd base off Watson/McKenry), Martin Maldonado (1, 2nd base off Lincoln/Barajas)|
|CS - Nyjer Morgan (4, 2nd base by Lincoln/Barajas)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Rickie Weeks (12, Misplayed grounder)|
|Francisco Rodriguez (W,2-4)||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||3.86|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 97-60, Jose Veras 15-9, Manny Parra 23-12, Francisco Rodriguez 18-11, John Axford 25-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 6-4, Jose Veras 1-1, John Axford 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 25, Jose Veras 3, Manny Parra 5, Francisco Rodriguez 3, John Axford 5|
|Attendance - 35025|
|Game Time - 3:50|
|Temperature - 83|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Victor Carapazza, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Dan Bellino|