The Pittsburgh Pirates scored three runs on four consecutive hits in the top of the ninth inning off Milwaukee ace reliever Francisco Rodriguez, and posted a 4-1 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
It was only the second win in nine games against the Brewers for the Bucs this season, and only the fifth Pittsburgh victory in 16 road games. Rodriguez (1-1) entered the game with 16 saves in 17 opportunities this year.
The Pirates (17-22) broke a 1-1 tie with consecutive singles by Ike Davis, Jordy Mercer and Chris Stewart. Starling Marte added two other runs with an RBI double.
Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Jose Tabata’s ground ball scored Andrew McCutchen. The Brewers (25-15) tied the contest in the fifth frame on a Jeff Bianchi sacrifice fly.
Davis and Pedro Alvarez both recorded two hits for the Bucs. Milwaukee was limited to six hits, including two by Ryan Braun. The Brewers were playing without injured third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and without center fielder Carlos Gomez, who began serving a three-game suspension stemming from a bases-clearing brawl with the Pirates in a game played in Pittsburgh on Easter Sunday.
Pirates reliever Tony Watson earned the win, and Mark Melancon picked up his fifth save. Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano ended up with his fifth straight “no-decision” after allowing only one run and four hits over six innings. Liriano struck out seven batters and walked only one.
The Pirates will try for their fourth straight series win in the rubber game of the series in Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon (1:10 PM). Wandy Rodriguez (0-2) will come off the disabled list to start for Pittsburgh against Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo (2-2).