"In this ballpark, if you hit the ball down the left field line,
it will go out," the Pittsburgh Pirates utility player said of PNC
Park. "The park plays bigm but down the line is one place you can
get it out."
Harrison's pinch-hit, two-run home run to that spot broke a
seventh-inning tie, and the Pirates turned a close game into a rout
in the late innings, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 11-2 Thursday
night. The Brewers lost for the first time in seven road games this
Harrison hit his first homer of the season and the second pinch home
run of his career. The seventh-inning shot put the Pirates ahead
Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Gaby Sanchez also homered as the
Pirates raised their total to a major-league-leading 23 in 16 games.
The Pirates lead the major leagues with 23 home runs through their
first 16 games.
"It's good to know you can strike quickly, but we need to hit a few
more with men on base like we did tonight rather than just solos,"
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Of course, the Pirates would have more multi-run homers if they
could improve upon a .304 on-base percentage.
"That has been priority No. 1 since the first day of spring
training," Hurdle said. "We need to raise the on-base percentage."
McCutchen, the center fielder who was last year's National League
MVP, hit his first homer of the season, a two-run shot in the first
inning. It came in his 57th at-bat of 2014.
Alvarez, Pittsburgh's third baseman, capped a six-run eighth inning
with a three-run homer, his sixth. The inning started with a solo
shot by Sanchez, the third for the Pirates first baseman.
Alvarez, left fielder Starling Marte, catcher Russell Martin and
shortstop Jordy Mercer each had two of the Pirates' 12 hits.
Right-hander Edinson Volquez (1-0) gave up two runs in seven innings
for his first win with the Pirates, scattering eight hits. He struck
out three and walked one.
"It's a great feeling to get that first W for the Pittsburgh
Pirates," Volquez said. "That's why they brought me here, to win
games, so I feel like I did my job this time."
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and second baseman Scooter Gennett had two
hits each for Milwaukee
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Harrison's game-winning homer came off right-hander Rob Wooten, who
relieved starter Yovani Gallardo to start the seventh. Harrison was
pinch-hitting for Volquez, who signed a one-year, $5 million
contract with the Pirates in December as a free agent.
Gallardo allowed two runs and three hits in six innings with four
walks and six strikeouts.
"It was tough," Gallardo said. "I felt like I was fighting myself
all night. I never felt like I was in control of the game."
The game got out of control when Gallardo exited. Wooten (0-1) gave
up three runs in one-third of an inning, and rookie left-hander
Wei-Chung Wang was hammered for six runs in one inning as the
Milwaukee bullpen's ERA rose from a major-league-best 1.33 to 3.16.
"It's the most embarrassed I've ever been in my professional
career," Wooten said. "I don't even know how to describe it. It was
NOTES: Brewers 1B Lyle Overbay was placed on the paternity list
after his wife gave birth to a boy Thursday morning in Milwaukee.
INF/OF Elian Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. ...
Pirates OF Jose 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. He
pinch-hit in Thursday's game. ... 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 ERA) is scheduled to pitch Friday night
against Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.32). Lohse is 10-2
with a 3.41 ERA in 21 career games against the Pirates. Morton was
winless in five career decisions and seven starts against the
Brewers until last season, when he went 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA in three
starts vs. Milwaukee.
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