Brewers 9, Pirates 3

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez had back-to-back RBI doubles in the third inning as the Brewers broke the game open en route to an eventual 9-3 victory over the Pirates Wednesday night at Miller Park.

Milwaukee scored five runs in the inning off Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, who came into the game having won three of his last four starts.

With the game tied 2-2, Liriano (15-7) allowed singles to Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez to open the inning. Lucroy put Milwaukee ahead 3-2 with a ground-rule double to left, and Ramirez followed with a line drive that bounced off the wall in center to score Gomez and Lucroy, giving the Brewers a 5-2 lead.

Milwaukee got two more in the inning when Ramirez scored on Jeff Bianchi's ground out and Yuniesky Betancourt scored on a wild pitch.

Liriano worked out of the inning but was done for the day after allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts, two wild pitches and a home run.

The loss denied the Pirates a chance to ensure their first winning season since 1992. Pittsburgh won Tuesday for the 81st time this season, snapping the franchise streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons.

Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta (9-14) struck out six in his six-inning effort and won for just the second time since July 14.

Jody Mercer started the scoring with an RBI base hit in the second but the Brewers answered with two in the bottom of the inning on Khris Davis' two-run home run -- his ninth of the season.

Pittsburgh took the lead back in the third on an RBI single by Marlon Byrd.

Andrew McCutchen cut into the Brewers' lead in the fifth with a leadoff home run to left -- his 19th of the year. Peralta followed by drilling Morneau with a pitch and, after the benches emptied for a moment, play continued as Byrd doubled to center.

But Norchika Aoki preserved the four-run lead with a perfect throw, cut-off by Jeff Bianchi, to catch Morneau at the plate.

NOTES: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said that RHP Wandy Rodriguez felt good after a bullpen session Tuesday and is on track to make a rehab start Friday with Triple-A Indianapolis. Rodriguez has been out since early June due to forearm tightness. ... Hurdle said the team's other three players on the 60-day disabled list -- James McDonald, Jeff Karstens and Michael McKenry -- are not expected to return should Pittsburgh make the postseason. ... Brewers shortstop Jean Segura was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday due to illness but is expected to be back in the lineup Friday, when the Brewers open a three-game series at Wrigley Field. ... Milwaukee LHP Tom Gorzelanny was unavailable for the second straight game due to shoulder tightness and was to be examined Wednesday by team physician Dr. William Raasch. ... Pirates 1B Justin Morneau changed his uniform number to 66 Wednesday.
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