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Pirates 7, Brewers 1

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Marlon Byrd had to wait through three frustrating plate appearances before finally making his mark Wednesday night in his Pittsburgh Pirates' debut.

One day after being acquired from the New York Mets in a trade, Byrd hit a three-run home run to help spark the Pirates to a 7-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park.

Byrd's first home run with the Pirates came in the seventh inning off Burke Badenhop and was his 22nd of the season, landing in the shrubbery beyond the center field fence and helping his new team end a three-game losing streak.

The blast put Pittsburgh ahead 7-1 as it tried to keep pace in the National League Central with the St. Louis Cardinals, who entered the day 1 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates.

Byrd lined into a double play in the first inning as pitcher Tom Gorzelanny snared the ball and threw to first base to double off Andrew McCutchen. Byrd then struck out swinging to end a 14-pitch battle with Gorzelanny in the fourth and whiffed again an inning later.

Pittsburgh got to Gorzelanny quickly in the game, scoring a run before the left-hander retired a batter in the first. Josh Harrison singled, Jordy Mercer walked and Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI single.

The Pirates made it 2-0 in the second when McCutchen led off with a single and scored on Gaby Sanchez's two-out single.

Jose Tabata tripled to lead off the fifth and came home on a single by Harrison, who scored on Mercer's double to increase the lead to 4-0.

Byrd, catcher John Buck and $850,000 came from the Mets in exchange for two prospects, right-handed reliever Vic Black and second baseman Dilson Herrera. Byrd and Buck joined the Pirates on Wednesday, though Buck was not in the lineup as he will serve as the backup catcher to Russell Martin.

While Byrd's homer resulted in a curtain call, plenty of other Pirates had good offensive performances.

Harrison, subbing for second baseman Neil Walker, had three hits and three runs scored from the leadoff spot while Sanchez, subbing for first baseman Garrett Jones, also had three hits. Mercer and McCutchen added two hits each.

Charlie Morton (6-3) won his third straight decision as he allowed just one unearned in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits, walked three and struck out two.

Morton is 3-0 with a 1.82 in his last five starts.

Vin Mazzaro and Jared Hughes combined for 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings.

Gorzelanny (3-6) lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out five.

Carlos Gomez had two hits for the Brewers, whose lone run came on a throwing error by Russell Martin in the seventh inning.

NOTES: The Pirates optioned LHP Jeff Locke and C Tony Sanchez to Double-A Altoona to clear space on the 25-man roster for the additions of Byrd and Buck. Locke will not actually report to Altoona. He'll miss his scheduled start Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals, then be recalled with Sanchez on Tuesday, the day after the Eastern League season ends. ... Pittsburgh LHP Wandy Rodriguez (strained left forearm) was found to have no structural damage after being examined Tuesday by noted orthopedist James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Rodriguez will resume a throwing program by the weekend. ... Pirates RHP Jason Grilli pitched a simulated game Wednesday and is tentatively scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Double-A Altoona. ... Milwaukee rookie LF Khris Davis got his first day off since Aug. 14. ... Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (9-9, 4.61) will start Thursday night against Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (6-6, 3.81) in the finale of the three-game series.
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