MILWAUKEE -- Yuniesky Betancourt hit the go-ahead home run to lead off the seventh inning and Jim Henderson notched his seventh save of the season as the Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 12-8, Tuesday at Miller Park.
Betancourt's blast erased a late rally by Pittsburgh, which has lost eight in a row against the Brewers and is 7-46 in Milwaukee since the 2007 season.
Trailing, 7-5, Pedro Alvarez struck out to open sixth the inning, Brandon Inge and Clint Barmes followed with singles. Pinch-hitter Jose Tabata grounded into what appeared to be an easy double play, but Brewers second baseman struggled to handle the ball and touched second a split second ahead of Barmes but threw late trying to get Tabata at first.
Replays, though, showed the throw got to Martin Maldonado just in time to catch Tabata and on the very next pitch, Starling Marte drove a Burke Badenhop sinker off the backdrop in centerfield to put Pittsburgh ahead, 8-7.
Umpires originally ruled it a ground-rule double but after checking the replay, awarded Marte the homer -- his second of the season.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Jean Segura led off the Brewers' half of the inning with his third home run of the season, tying the game at 8-8.
For the second straight game, both starters had difficulty getting through the early innings. Milwaukee right-hander Marco Estrada needed 28 pitches to get through the first after giving up three straight hits to open the game. But after Gaby Sanchez walked to load the bases, Estrada retired the next two batters and worked out of the inning down, 1-0.
McDonald's trouble came in the second with walks to Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez to open the inning. Betancourt popped out to second but Maldonado followed with a two-run double to left and later scored when Garrett Jones mishandled Estrada's single to right, putting Milwaukee ahead, 3-1.
Pittsburgh added two more in the third, on Sanchez's third home run of the season but Milwaukee regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on Gomez's RBI double and added three more in the fourth to make it 7-3.
But back-to-back home runs in the fifth by Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen cut it to 7-5.
NOTES: Gaby Sanchez hit his fourth home run of the season in the third inning, giving the Pirates at least one home run in 11 of their last 13 games. ... Carlos Gomez doubled in the third to extend his hitting streak to seven games. ... Pittsburgh 2B Starling Marte is 6-for-7 leading off the first inning the last eight games and leads the majors with a .636 average in the first this season. ... Milwaukee was playing its first game of the season with the roof open at Miller Park.