The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 17, 2014

Pirates power past Brewers

PITTSBURGH — Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter. It started Pittsburgh’s nine-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings that was capped by Alvarez’s sixth of the year.

Initially, Harrison was attempting to advance Jordy Mercer by bunt before getting two strikes after fouling off a bunt attempt and watching a second strike with a 2-1 count.

Mercer singled to right to open the seventh against Wooten. 

McCutchen, last year’s NL MVP, hit a two-run homer in the first inning in his 57th at-bat.

Gaby Sanchez also connected while Alvarez, Starling Marte, Russell Martin and Mercer each had two of the Pirates’ 12 hits.

Edinson Volquez (1-0) gave up two runs in seven innings for his first win with the Pirates, scattering eight hits.

Jonathan Lucroy and Scooter Gennett had two hits each for Milwaukee, which had won its first six road games. The Brewers have lost three of four since a nine-game winning streak.

Wooten relieved starter Yovani Gallardo to start the seventh. Harrison connected when he was pinch-hitting for Volquez, who signed a one-year, $5-milion contract with the Pirates in December as a free agent.

Volquez struck out three and walked one. His 5.72 ERA last season with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers was the worst among the 81 major league pitchers who qualified for the ERA title.

Gallardo allowed two runs and three in six innings with four walks and six strikeouts. However, Wooten allowed three runs while getting only one out and rookie left-hander Wei-Chung Wang was hammered for six runs in 2⁄3 of an inning as the Brewers bullpen’s ERA rose from a major league-best 1.33 to 3.16.

After Harrison’s homer put the Pirates ahead 4-2, McCutchen made it a three-run lead with a fielder’s choice grounder.

Pittsburgh turned the game into a rout with a six-run eighth inning that included homers by Alvarez and Sanchez, an RBI double by pinch-hitter Jose Tabata and a run-scoring single by Russell Martin.

McCutchen’s home run had put the Pirates ahead 2-1 after Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez singled in a run in the top of the first inning.

The Brewers pulled into a 2-all tie on an RBI single by Lucroy in the second.

Notes: Brewers 1B Lyle Overbay was placed on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to a boy on Thursday morning in Milwaukee. Manager Ron Roenicke said Overbay will likely take the maximum three-day leave allowable under major league rules. INF-OF Elian Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. ... Tabata passed all concussion protocols Thursday morning, a day after leaving a game in Cincinnati in the fourth inning when he ran into the scoreboard while making a catch. ... Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, in town to promote a boxing show put on by his Iron Mike Productions, threw the ceremonial first pitch. ... Milwaukee RHP Kyle Lohse (2-1, 3.05) is scheduled to pitch tonight against Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.32).

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