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Pittsburgh at Milwaukee

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Pittsburgh (67-63)020000001340
Milwaukee (72-58) «22000000x4130

Fiers wins 4th straight, Brewers beat Pirates 4-3

By GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
  •  

MILWAUKEE (AP) Mike Fiers is happy to be pitching in the big leagues again in the middle of a pennant race, and he's not afraid to get a little emotional on the mound.

Fiers extended his successful run since being called up from Triple-A, winning his fourth straight start after holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to two hits in seven innings in a 4-3 win Sunday.

Approaching 100 pitches near the end of the seventh, Fiers yelled and pumped his right arm as he exited the mound after Pedro Alvarez lined to short for the third out.

''I knew that was probably going to be my last inning,'' Fiers said. ''I'm just so pumped up to be up here and contribute to this team.''

That might be an understatement - the lanky right-hander has a 1.29 ERA in 28 innings in four outings since replacing the injured Matt Garza in the rotation. Fiers has 32 strikeouts to just four walks in that span.

On Sunday, Fiers (4-1) fanned seven to help Milwaukee avoid a three-game sweep. He allowed Starling Marte's two-run shot in the second before retiring 16 of the next 17 batters.

''It has been incredibly impressive,'' outfielder Ryan Braun said. ''I don't think anybody foresaw him coming up and being the best pitcher in baseball the last four starts.''

Closer Francisco Rodriguez gave up a homer to Andrew McCutchen with one in the ninth. Rodriguez put the tying run aboard with two outs with a walk before striking out Alvarez for his 39th save.

Milwaukee knocked around Vance Worley (5-4) for four runs over the first two innings, with each hit coming with two outs. Pittsburgh had its three-game winning streak snapped and dropped to five back in the NL Central.

''Back-to-back innings, I haven't seen it very often, with two outs, nobody on, four straight hits,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''And again it goes back to rhythm. I think his (delivery) angle.''

Worley settled down after the first two innings, retiring 13 of 15 until leaving with one out in the seventh.

Jonathan Lucroy hit his National League-leading 43rd double for the Brewers, who snapped a three-game losing streak to increase their lead in the Central to 1 1/2 games over second-place St. Louis.

SECOND CHANCES

Lucroy singled home a run in the second after Carlos Gomez reached on a two-out double to left-center that glanced off McCutchen's glove. Aramis Ramirez followed two batters later with his second single of the day to drive home Lucroy for a 4-2 lead.

The Pirates had tied it at 2 in the top of the second after Marte homered on to the concourse above left-center. Fiers allowed just Russell Martin's single in the fourth from there, getting out of that inning with a pretty over-the-shoulder catch with two outs by shortstop Elian Herrera in shallow center to save a potential hit.

FABULOUS FIERS

The 6-foot-2 Fiers' fastball tops only at about 90 mph, but his motion can be a little tough. When Fiers winds up, he raises his glove hand high in the air while rearing his throwing arm back from near the waist. Then Fiers swings the arm around from an nearly an over-the-top angle to deliver the pitch.

''It's all about location. Downhill angle, number one weapon that he's got,'' Hurdle said. ''That size, he gets on top of the ball with downhill angle.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

PIRATES: INF Clint Barmes could rejoin the team during a three-game series against St. Louis, which starts Monday in Pittsburgh. Barmes has been on the disabled list since July 6 with strained left groin.

BREWERS: Garza, who was supposed to throw a light bullpen session Sunday, is recovering from a strained rib cage muscle. Manager Ron Roenicke said Garza will throw again Tuesday if Sunday's bullpen outing went well. Garza went on the disabled list Aug. 5.

UP NEXT

PIRATES: LHP Francisco Liriano (3-10) will try to rebound from a tough outing when he opens the Cardinals series. He gave up nine runs in four-plus innings in an 11-3 loss last week to Atlanta.

BREWERS: RHP Kyle Lohse (11-7) returns to the rotation to open a three-game series in San Diego. Lohse hasn't started since Aug. 13 because of a right ankle injury.

---

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

S. Marte
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Milwaukee

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Josh Harrison, 3B4000011.304.339.490
Gregory Polanco, RF3000030.241.308.349
   a-Travis Snider, PH1000000.268.336.435
Andrew McCutchen, CF4111000.305.403.533
Neil Walker, 2B4000010.279.349.464
Russell Martin, C3010100.288.411.410
Pedro Alvarez, 1B3100112.231.314.400
Starling Marte, LF3112010.276.347.435
Jordy Mercer, SS3010010.259.307.373
Vance Worley, P2000010.083.083.125
   Justin Wilson, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Ike Davis, PH1000001.236.351.368
   Mark Melancon, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3134329    
a-flied out for Polanco in the 9th
b-flied out for Wilson in the 8th
Batting
HR - Andrew McCutchen (19, Rodriguez), Starling Marte (9, Fiers)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (69), Starling Marte 2 (44)
2-OUT RBI - Starling Marte 2 (14)
SB - Pedro Alvarez (8, 2nd base off Fiers/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Gregory Polanco 1
DP - Mercer-Walker-Alvarez
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Vance Worley (L,5-4) 6.11244150 3.14
Justin Wilson 0.2000000 4.50
Mark Melancon 1100010 2.19
Pitches-Strikes - Vance Worley 94-59, Justin Wilson 2-2, Mark Melancon 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vance Worley 6-7, Justin Wilson 1-0
Batters Faced - Vance Worley 31, Justin Wilson 1, Mark Melancon 3
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Carlos Gomez, CF4110011.285.350.491
Jonathan Lucroy, C4121000.304.370.488
Ryan Braun, RF3120101.278.329.482
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4131010.303.349.456
Scooter Gennett, 2B4021003.310.342.477
Mark Reynolds, 1B4011010.203.294.412
Gerardo Parra, LF4020012.257.307.369
Elian Herrera, SS4000011.265.281.325
Mike Fiers, P2000010.091.091.091
   Jeremy Jeffress, P0000000.000.000.000
   Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals33413416    
Batting
2B - Carlos Gomez (29, Worley), Jonathan Lucroy (43, Worley)
SH - Mike Fiers (2)
RBI - Jonathan Lucroy (60), Aramis Ramirez (58), Scooter Gennett (45), Mark Reynolds (44)
2-OUT RBI - Jonathan Lucroy (25), Aramis Ramirez (28), Scooter Gennett (16), Mark Reynolds (14)
Team LOB - 7
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Fiers (W,4-1) 7222171 1.54
Jeremy Jeffress (H,4) 1100010 2.65
Francisco Rodriguez (S,39) 1111111 2.90
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Fiers 99-63, Jeremy Jeffress 13-7, Francisco Rodriguez 26-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Fiers 2-12, Jeremy Jeffress 1-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-1
Batters Faced - Mike Fiers 24, Jeremy Jeffress 4, Francisco Rodriguez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 42761
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Will Little, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Greg Gibson