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Pirates 6, Brewers 4

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Starling Marte hit a game-tying home run as part of a four-run eighth inning that propelled the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.

All four runs came off Brewers right-hander John Axford, who was removed from the closer role earlier this season after surrendering nine runs in his first four outings.

With the Pirates trailing 4-2 after Jean Segura's seventh-inning single drove home an insurance run for Milwaukee, pinch-hitter Travis Snider led off with an infield single. Marte followed and took Axford's third offering -- a 95 mph fastball at the knees -- to center for his third home run of the season.

Jose Tabata followed with a base hit and, after Axford retired Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones, he gave up an RBI single to Brandon Inge, making it 5-4 Pittsburgh.

Left-hander Michael Gonzalez came on to face Pedro Alvarez, who put the Pirates ahead by two with a single to right before Michael McKenry ended the inning with a liner to second.

Axford's rough inning snapped an otherwise good stretch for the right-hander, who lost his role as closer after allowing nine runs in his first four outings. In eight appearances since, Axford (0-3) had held opponents to one run in 7 1/3 innings and a .192 batting average with eight strikeouts.

It also nullified an impressive performance by rookie right-hander Hiram Burgos, who allowed two runs aand four hits -- including solo home runs by Alvarez and McKenry -- with six strikeouts in seven innings of just his third major-league start.

Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky Betancourt hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth off right-hander Jeanmar Gomez, who allowed three runs (two earned) and three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in four innings in his first start for the Pirates.

Pittsburgh avoided a sweep and snapped a nine-game losing streak to Milwaukee.

Bryan Morris picked up the victory, his first of the season, and Jason Grili worked around a one-out base hit in the ninth for his 11th save this year.

NOTES: Russell Martin has homered in each of the last four games and has six in his last 12. His next will be the 100th of his career. Milwaukee has the best home record in baseball since 2011 (115-61) and has won nine in a row at Miller Park. ... Inge singled in the fourth inning, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Inge has hit safely in 27 of his last 29 games dating to last season. ... Segura had an RBI single in the seventh and after going 1 for 3 and reaching on an error, his .362 average remained second best in the National League. ... The Pirates started the season without a home run through their first five games but have hit 28 in their last 23.
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