Pirates 4, Brewers 2

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PITTSBURGH (AP)—For the first time in almost two years, Jason Bay was not in the starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

It didn’t seem to matter for the suddenly streaking Pirates.

Jeromy Burnitz and Jose Castillo had solo home runs as the Pirates won their fourth straight game, 4-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Victor Santos (5-7) was effective enough in making his first start since June 15 in place of Shawn Chacon for Pittsburgh, which was without Bay in the lineup for the first time since September 4, 2004.

“Of course you want to have him in your lineup,” manager Jim Tracy said of the All-Star outfielder. “But with some of the players we have now, you can feel good about the lineup we put out there even when a guy like Jason is not playing. That shows where we are as a ballclub now.”

Bay’s streak of 307 consecutive games played ended after he strained his right hamstring while stretching before Sunday’s game against St. Louis, when the Pirates completed a sweep of the first-place Cardinals.

It was the fourth-longest active streak in the majors.

“To get a win without one of your best players is definitely a plus,” Burnitz said.

Tony Graffanino and Corey Hart each had two hits for the Brewers, who have lost seven of their last eight to the Pirates.

“A loss is a loss,” Milwaukee starter Dave Bush said. “The sign of a good team is they find a way to win games like this.”

Santos, who went on the disabled list with a strained rotator cuff in June and lost his spot in the rotation upon his return in July, was filling in for Chacon, who had a sore knee. Santos gave up two runs and four hits in five innings.

“I just wanted to go out there and keep the ball down and stay aggressive,” said Santos, who had not won since June 9. “I kept us in the game and we got a ‘W’ out of it. You can’t ask for anything else.”

Pittsburgh gave Santos a lead in the first inning when Freddy Sanchez’s groundout scored Chris Duffy. Duffy was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

“We started the game much in the manner that we did over the weekend, scoring the first run,” Tracy said.

But the Brewers came back to score twice in the second. Damian Miller hit a sacrifice fly and Bush had a single that scored Hart, who had broken an 0-for-18 slump with a single.

“We had some opportunities to knock (Santos) out of the ballgame,” Milwaukee shortstop Bill Hall said. “It’s always frustrating when you get a good pitch and don’t put it in play and score runs.”

Said Santos: “I worked myself into a jam, and I worked myself out of it.”

Burnitz hit his 16th homer leading off the bottom half, tying it at 2. The ball hit off the right-field foul pole.

“It was really hooking,” Burnitz said. “I was glad it hit the pole for us.”

Pittsburgh took a 3-2 lead against Bush (8-9) in the third. Duffy reached on an error by first baseman Prince Fielder and later scored on Xavier Nady’s groundout.

Castillo hit his 14th home run with two outs in the fourth.

“They only hit two balls hard off of (Bush),” Brewers manger Ned Yost said. “They just kind of found ways to score every inning the first few innings.”

And once Pittsburgh got the lead, it didn’t relinquish it. Four relievers threw an inning apiece—including Mike Gonzalez, who pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 21 opportunities. Salomon Torres, John Grabow, Matt Capps and Gonzalez permitted only four baserunners from the sixth through ninth.

“Their bullpen is real strong; they’ve got guys pitching out there,” Yost said. “We hit the ball hard a couple times for outs but we just couldn’t get the bats going tonight. We’ve got to find ways to get some of those runners in.”


Pirates SS Jack Wilson left the game before the seventh inning with a bruised right hand. He was hit by a pitch in the third, and said after the game he expected to play Tuesday. … Pirates starters have allowed only seven earned runs in the past five games, covering 33 2-3 innings. … Each of the last 14 home runs by the Pirates have been solo shots. … Pittsburgh’s Rajai Davis made his major league debut when he flied out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. … Bush’s single snapped an 0-for-43 streak by Milwaukee pitchers.

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