Brewers 9, Pirates 5

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PITTSBURGH (AP)—Geoff Jenkins is playing as if the Milwaukee Brewers are in a race for first place, rather than trying to exit in last place in the NL Central.

Jenkins had another big day with three RBIs, Brady Clark drove in four runs and Milwaukee used a six-run third inning to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5 on Monday.

Jenkins homered leading off the second, then followed Clark’s two-run single in the pivotal third with a two-run double—his third extra-base hit against Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong in four at-bats.

Jenkins is hitting .447 (21-for-47) over 13 games, his best stretch in yet another poor season for the Brewers. Between them, the Pirates and Brewers are 64 games out of first place.

“I’m just trying to get back to basics, slow things down and swing at good pitches,” said Jenkins, who’s hitting .263 with 21 homers and 78 RBIs. “If you do that and swing at good pitches in the zone, good things usually happen. That’s about it—nothing special.”

For much of the season, he said: “The team wasn’t doing so good, so everybody was kind of pressing a little bit. But we’ll keep working hard at it.”

Clark added a two-run double in the ninth as the Brewers won their fourth in five games, while the slumping-again Pirates dropped their fifth in a row and 14th in 18 games.

With a 62-75 record, the Pirates must go 19-6 over their remaining 25 games to avoid a franchise-record 12th consecutive losing season.

Gary Glover (1-0), pitching for his third organization this season, got the victory in his Brewers debut despite giving up Rob Mackowiak’s two-run homer in the fourth.

The Pirates loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Luis Vizcaino. Dan Kolb came in and gave up Jason Bay’s sacrifice fly before getting Tike Redman to fly out and Jose Castillo to ground out for his 37th save in 41 chances. The Pirates left 12 on base.

Vogelsong (4-12) hasn’t won in 12 appearances in Pittsburgh since beating the Phillies 6-2 on April 8 in his first home start. He gave up seven runs and five hits in 2 1-3 innings in losing his fifth in seven starts, elevating his ERA to 6.81.

In his last start, Vogelsong limited the Brewers to two runs over seven innings.

“I don’t know why there’s so much difference from one start to the next,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It’s a little frustrating. It’s one step forward and two back. He’s certainly got the stuff, we’ve just got to get it out of him.”

Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell was 0-for-34 since Aug. 24 going into the third, but singled twice in the inning. Scott Podsednik singled a batter following Counsell’s leadoff single, then stole second for his club record-tying 54th stolen base.

“Well, I knew I was going to get another hit,” Counsell said. “I didn’t know if it was going to be this year.”

The Pirates might’ve gotten out of the third with less damage if left fielder Bay hadn’t thrown to the wrong base on Podsednik’s single. Counsell was trapped momentarily between second and third, but scrambled safely into third when Bay threw behind him rather than to third.

“I’m not sure what he was doing,” McClendon said.

After Lyle Overbay walked, Jenkins doubled in two runs and Counsell later finished off his 2-for-2 inning with a two-run single. Jenkins also doubled against Vogelsong in the fourth inning Wednesday in Milwaukee, when the Pirates rallied to win 5-2 in 10 innings.

Glover allowed four runs and six hits in five-plus innings, with Ben Ford bailing him out of a two-run sixth before Mike Adams pitched two scoreless innings.

The Brewers have won three of five against the Pirates after losing nine of 12 to them.

Notes

Pirates RHP Kip Wells probably won’t pitch again this season. He came off the disabled list Sunday in Houston, but didn’t make it out of the first because of elbow tightness. … Glover and Ford joined the Brewers over the weekend from Triple-A Indianapolis. … Vogelsong has a 7.08 ERA in 22 starts. … Podsednik tied Pat Listach’s 1992 club record of 54 stolen bases. Podsednik leads the majors in steals and has 17 in his last 22 attempts. … Clark’s four RBIs matched his career high set April 8 against St. Louis.

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