Travis Snider’s pinch-hit home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday night lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-3 road win over the Milwaukee Brewers, and assured the Bucs of their first non-losing season since 1992.
The Pirates’ 81st victory of the year means Pittsburgh (81-57) will not finish 2013 with a losing record even if they drop all 24 of their remaining games. It also moved the Bucs, who lead the National League Central Division, two games ahead of St. Louis, who lost a 1-0 decision Tuesday to Cincinnati.
Snider’s second pinch-hit homer of the season, and fourth overall, made a winner of Pittsburgh reliever Vin Mazzaro (7-2; 2.43 ERA) after Mazzaro had allowed the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Mark Melancon pitched the ninth inning and earned his 11th save.
Andrew McCutchen also homered for the Pirates, Marlon Byrd registered two hits and two RBI’s, and Justin Morneau went 3-for-3.
For Milwaukee (59-79), Jonathan Lucroy singled home two runs, and Jean Segura went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Brewers reliever Jim Henderson (3-5; 2.28 ERA) gave up the Snider homer and took the loss.
On Wednesday night, the Pirates will go for a sweep of the three-game series at Miller Park in Milwaukee with the Pirates’ top winner, Francisco Liriano (15-6; 2.57 ERA) scheduled to face the Brewers’ Wily Peralta (8-14; 4.51 ERA).