TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pirates get the bats going, knock off Brewers to take 4-game series

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen crashes into the wall after robbing the Brewers' Ryan Braun of a hit during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen crashes into the wall after robbing the Brewers' Ryan Braun of a hit during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano delivers against the Brewers during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano delivers against the Brewers during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Russell Martin stretches for a single during the fifth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Russell Martin stretches for a single during the fifth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Travis Snider drives in a run with a hit during the four-run sixth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Travis Snider drives in a run with a hit during the four-run sixth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen makes a leaping catch to rob the Brewers' Ryan Braun of a hit during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen makes a leaping catch to rob the Brewers' Ryan Braun of a hit during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun chases down a run-scoring double by the Pirates' Clint Barmes during the fourth inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun chases down a run-scoring double by the Pirates' Clint Barmes during the fourth inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano delivers against the Brewers during the third inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano delivers against the Brewers during the third inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Brewers right fielder Nori Aoki makes a lunging catch to rob the Pirates' Brandon Inge of a hit during the sixth inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Brewers right fielder Nori Aoki makes a lunging catch to rob the Pirates' Brandon Inge of a hit during the sixth inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Travis Snider steals second base under Brewers shortstop Jean Segura during the third inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Travis Snider steals second base under Brewers shortstop Jean Segura during the third inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Travis Snider is greeted at home plate by Starling Marte after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Travis Snider is greeted at home plate by Starling Marte after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes looks to the dugout after driving in a run with a double during the fourth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes looks to the dugout after driving in a run with a double during the fourth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Travis Snider is greeted at the dugout by Neil Walker and manager Clint Hurdle after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Travis Snider is greeted at the dugout by Neil Walker and manager Clint Hurdle after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Brewers on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen makes a leaping catch to rob the Brewers' Ryan Braun of a hit during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen makes a leaping catch to rob the Brewers' Ryan Braun of a hit during the first inning Thursday, May 16, 2013, at PNC Park.

Pirates/MLB Videos

Thursday, May 16, 2013, 10:30 p.m.
 

The Pirates used all of their weapons Thursday and rolled to a 7-1 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park.

They got an effective — at times dominant — effort by left-hander Francisco Liriano. A fantastic catch by Andrew McCutchen. Travis Snider's 458-foot homer, which tasted Allegheny River water. And even a timely stolen base by ... would you believe, Pedro Alvarez?

Believe it.

The Pirates took the series by winning three straight games against Milwaukee for the first time since 2010. Last season, the Brewers went 11-4 against the Pirates, including a 5-1 mark at PNC Park.

With one-fourth of the season done, manager Clint Hurdle likes what he sees.

“I like the direction we're headed,” he said. “I like the effort and attitude we're putting out there.”

It began with Liriano (2-0), who racked up seven strikeouts over 5 23 innings in his first start for the Pirates at PNC Park. He adds more punch to a rotation that already boasts NL strikeout leader A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez.

“Our depth has never been better,” Hurdle said. “The rotation has been pretty good, and I think it has every opportunity to be better.”

The Pirates took the lead by scoring two runs in the fifth inning off righty Hiram Burgos (1-2). Starling Marte got it started with a bunt single.

Snyder launched Burgos' next pitch over the seats in right-center for his first home run. The ball bounced on the concourse, rolled down the grassy hill and plopped into the river.

“For me, it's not about how far it goes,” Snider said. “It's about getting it over the fence. That's been a struggle for about nine months now.”

The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Nori Aoki drew a five-pitch, leadoff walk but was caught stealing. Jean Segura singled to left.

Ryan Braun crushed a first-pitch fastball, but McCutchen made a leaping catch up against the center field wall.

“That was amazing,” Liriano said. “I thought that ball was gone, but he made a great catch.”

Segura stole second, then scored on Jonathan Lucroy's single. Liriano had Lucroy 0-2 but put a changeup where Lucroy could slap it into center.

After the bumpy, 17-pitch first inning, Liriano struck out the side in the second.

Yuniesky Betancourt went down swinging, chasing three straight sliders. Liriano got ahead of Rickie Weeks with sinkers, then froze him with an 88 mph slider. Alex Gonzalez fell behind 1-2 against a couple of nasty sliders, then swung through a 94 mph two-seam fastball.

An unlikely stolen base and a gaffe by Braun enabled the Pirates to tie it in the fourth.

With two outs, Alvarez drew a non-intentional walk for only the seventh time in 136 plate appearances. Alvarez then stole second base — just his third career steal. The ball bounced into the outfield, but by the time Alvarez realized it, he had no chance to try for third.

No matter.

Clint Barmes stroked a fly ball to deep left. Braun didn't run at full speed, then pulled up short of the warning track. Perhaps he expected the ball to fly into the bleachers. It didn't. The ball landed at the base of the wall and kicked out onto the track. Alvarez scored with ease on the double.

Starling Marte began the fifth with a bunt single. Third baseman Betancourt made a good scoop but had to hurry his throw, and the ball popped out of first baseman Gonzalez's mitt.

Snider launched Burgos' next pitch over the seats in right-center. The ball bounced on the concourse, rolled down the grassy hill and plopped into the river.

In the sixth, the Pirates used five consecutive hits off reliever Alfredo Figaro to produce four runs.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
  2. No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
  3. Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
  4. Pittsburgh’s Downtown tops ranking of small to midsized cities
  5. Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after experiencing elbow discomfort
  6. Day of prayer at McKeesport church shines light on HIV, AIDS
  7. On remote Japanese island, cats outnumber humans
  8. Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
  9. Profit increases 12% at Dick’s Sporting Goods
  10. Penguins GM Rutherford not counting on Dupuis’ return
  11. Zoning update raises fears in Ligonier Township