The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 4, 2013

Losers no more, Pirates sail to 81st victory

BY JOE TOTORAITIS
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Pinch-hitter Travis Snider homered in the ninth inning to lift Pittsburgh to a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night that clinched the Pirates’ first non-losing record in 21 seasons.

Snider drove a 2-2 pitch from Jim Henderson (3-5) over the wall in center for his second pinch-hit homer of the season. He also accomplished the feat against the Chicago Cubs on May 21.

It was victory No. 81 for Pittsburgh, ensuring it will not finish with a losing record for the first time since it went 96-66 in 1992. More importantly, it boosted the Pirates’ lead in the NL Central to two games over St. Louis.

Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his 11th save, striking out Khris Davis with a runner on second to make it four straight wins for Pittsburgh at Miller Park for the first time since 2002. The Pirates lost 44 of 51 games in Milwaukee from 2007-2012.

Jean Segura had two hits and Jonathan Lucroy drive in two runs for Milwaukee, which has lost five in a row.

Pittsburgh went ahead 3-2 in the eighth. Andrew McCutchen walked with one out and raced around to third when newly acquired Justin Morneau followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run single into left field. Marlon Byrd then hit an RBI double off Brandon Kintzler into the left-field corner.

Pinch-hitter Pedro Alvarez was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs, and Kintzler got pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez to fly out to end the threat.

Morneau, who was acquired in a trade with Minnesota on Saturday, had three hits. Byrd, who came over in last week’s deal with the New York Mets, went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and has hit safely in six of his first seven games with Pittsburgh.