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Pittsburgh at Milwaukee

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Pittsburgh (81-58)0110100003121
Milwaukee (60-79) «02500020x9130

Brewers delay Bucs from clinching winning season

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- The Pirates will have to wait at least one more game before officially shedding more than two decades of losing.

Pittsburgh ace Francisco Liriano lasted only three innings and the Milwaukee Brewers pounded out a 9-3 victory Wednesday night to delay the Pirates' from clinching their first winning season since 1992.

"We are trying to win every day," said outfielder Andrew McCutcheon. "Every game is important from the first to the last. So we don't treat it any differently from any other game. We go out every day to win. That is what we are going to do in St. Louis."

Liriano (15-7), who had allowed five earned runs in his previous four starts, was rocked for seven runs on seven hits, with two walks and two costly wild pitches. The Pirates, aiming for their 82nd victory, twice left the bases loaded and stranded 12 runners.

The loss also trimmed the Pirates' lead in the NL Central to one game over the Cardinals, who defeated Cincinnati 5-4 in 16 innings. The Pirates begin a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday.

The Brewers tagged Liriano for five runs on five hits in the third inning to open a 7-2 lead.

Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez singled to open the third and Jonathan Lucroy followed with an RBI double to left to make it 3-2. Aramis Ramirez then doubled home both runners. After Khris Davis struck out, Yuniesky Betancourt singled Ramirez to third. Jeff Bianchi's comebacker to the mound scored Ramirez, and Betancourt came around to score on a pair of wild pitches by Liriano.

Wily Peralta (9-14) allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings, striking out six and walking one.

"I thought he made some really good pitches when he needed to but he struggled," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He struggled with his command and then all of a sudden on 3-2 he makes a real good pitch -- and he did it more than once -- so when he needed to make one, he did."

Players from both teams briefly came out of the dugouts and bullpens in the fifth inning after Justin Morneau was hit by a pitch from Peralta, but no physical contact ensued.

Andrew McCutcheon opened the fifth with his 19th home run to trim Milwaukee's lead to 7-3. Peralta's next pitch was high and tight, hitting Morneau on the right forearm as he spun away. Morneau, whose career has been interrupted by post-concussion syndrome, stared down Peralta as he walked to first, bringing players from both teams onto the field.

"Morneau was thinking that we were coming at him but any time you give up a home run and the next guy is hit, I don't care what guy it is, when you get hit by a ball you get mad," Roenicke said. "I don't have any issue with Morneau getting a little mad there. I know we weren't trying to hit him. I know Wily wasn't trying to hit him. And I know you get mad (when you get hit). That wasn't an issue with me."

Pittsburgh had three singles and a walk in the second, but managed just one run, leaving the bases loaded.

Marlon Byrd singled with one out, but was forced at second as Pedro Alvarez reached on a fielder's choice. John Buck then singled Alvarez to second. Jordy Mercer followed with a single off the glove of diving third baseman Ramirez, allowing Alvarez to continue around to score. Liriano walked to load the bases, but Jose Tabata bounced into a forceout at second.

Davis answered in the bottom of the second with his ninth home run, a two-run shot he sent 428 feet over the wall in left-center.

The Pirates tied it 2-2 in the third on a single by Neil Walker, a double by Morneau and RBI single by Byrd.

Milwaukee added two unearned runs in the seventh on Bianchi's bases-loaded sacrifice fly and Martin Maldonado's RBI single.

Pirates All-Star reliever Jason Grilli, who had been sidelined with a right forearm strain, pitched the eighth for his first appearance since July 22. Grilli, who was leading the NL with 30 saves when he was hurt, allowed one hit and struck out two, throwing 17 pitches.

"I hope it looked good because I felt pretty good. It is always good to be back on the mound," Grilli said. "It is definitely more adrenaline here than rehab starts. My whole plan even still was to make sure I am throwing strikes, commanding the striking zone, commanding my pitches."

Notes

Brewers SS Jean Segura was held out of the lineup. Manager Ron Roenicke said he was not feeling well. ... Brewers LHP Tom Gorzelanny, who left Monday's game with left shoulder tightness after facing one batter, was scheduled to be examined Wednesday night by a doctor. ... Morneau switched to uniform No. 66 on Wednesday after wearing No. 33 with the Twins, but that number was retired by Pittsburgh in honor of Honus Wagner. Morneau opted to double that. ... Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said before the game that OF Starling Marte is "slowly improving." The RHP is on the 15-day DL with a right hand contusion and sprained right ring finger. He last played Aug. 18. Hurdle said Marte hasn't been able to clutch a bat with two hands yet, or throw comfortably. Pirates reliever Stolmy Pimentel made his major league debut in the sixth and struck out pinch-hitter Juan Francisco to open the inning.

 
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Aramis Ramirez contributes with three runs and two RBI in the Brewers' winning effort. (USATSI)
Aramis Ramirez contributes with three runs and two RBI in the Brewers' winning effort. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

A. Ramirez
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

M. Byrd
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, LF5010004 .274
Neil Walker, 2B5120012 .262
Andrew McCutchen, CF4111101 .320
Justin Morneau, 1B4020012 .264
Marlon Byrd, RF5031013 .292
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4100025 .230
John Buck, C4010006 .222
Jordy Mercer, SS4011010 .271
   a-Andrew Lambo, PH1000010 .200
   b-Felix Pie, PH1000010 .235
   c-Travis Snider, PH1010000 .224
Totals38312328  
a-struck out for Liriano in the 4th
b-struck out for Gomez in the 6th
c-singled for Hughes in the 8th
Batting
2B - Neil Walker (23, Gonzalez), Justin Morneau (33, Peralta), Marlon Byrd (31, Peralta)
HR - Andrew McCutchen (19, Peralta)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (76), Marlon Byrd (79), Jordy Mercer (23)
2-OUT RBI - Jordy Mercer (9)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Neil Walker (7, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Francisco Liriano (L,15-7) 3777241 2.98
Jeanmar Gomez 2200000 3.03
Stolmy Pimentel 1.2320020 0.00
Jared Hughes 0.1000000 4.39
Jason Grilli 1100020 2.28
WP - Francisco Liriano 2 (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 73-43, Jeanmar Gomez 23-14, Stolmy Pimentel 29-19, Jared Hughes 6-4, Jason Grilli 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 3-2, Jeanmar Gomez 4-2, Stolmy Pimentel 2-2, Jared Hughes 1-0
Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 18, Jeanmar Gomez 8, Stolmy Pimentel 9, Jared Hughes 1, Jason Grilli 4
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Norichika Aoki, RF5130010 .290
Carlos Gomez, CF5110012 .283
Jonathan Lucroy, 1B5221012 .288
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3322100 .267
   a-Caleb Gindl, PH1000011 .250
Khris Davis, LF4112025 .279
Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B-3B4120000 .210
Jeff Bianchi, SS3012000 .244
Martin Maldonado, C3011101 .174
Wily Peralta, P2000012 .156
   b-Juan Francisco, PH1000010 .238
   c-Scooter Gennett, PH-2B1000002 .328
Totals37913828  
a-struck out for Wooten in the 8th
b-struck out for Peralta in the 6th
c-grounded out for Hand in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jonathan Lucroy (21, Liriano), Aramis Ramirez (15, Liriano)
HR - Khris Davis (9, Liriano)
SF - Jeff Bianchi (1)
RBI - Jonathan Lucroy (76), Aramis Ramirez 2 (39), Khris Davis 2 (21), Jeff Bianchi 2 (20), Martin Maldonado (20)
2-OUT RBI - Martin Maldonado (12)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Gomez 1
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wily Peralta (W,9-14) 6933161 4.51
Mike Gonzalez 0.1100110 4.47
Donovan Hand (H,1) 0.2000000 3.62
Robert Wooten 1100000 3.32
Burke Badenhop 1100010 3.62
HBP - Morneau (by Wily Peralta), Alvarez (by Donovan Hand)
Pitches-Strikes - Wily Peralta 101-67, Mike Gonzalez 10-6, Donovan Hand 6-4, Robert Wooten 18-11, Burke Badenhop 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wily Peralta 7-4, Robert Wooten 1-2, Burke Badenhop 1-1
Batters Faced - Wily Peralta 28, Mike Gonzalez 3, Donovan Hand 3, Robert Wooten 4, Burke Badenhop 4
Game Information
Attendance - 29041
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Quinn Wolcott, Third Base - James Hoye