Monday, April 21, 2014
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Davis' Homer Lifts Brewers Past Pirates In 14

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[April 21, 2014]  PITTSBURGH  Left fielder Khris Davis couldn't have been expected to be the hero for the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Yet Davis led off the 14th inning with a home run deep into the left-field bleachers to give the Brewers a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was first home run of the season in 65 at-bats.

The Brewers won the last three games of the four-game series and improved to 6-1 against the Pirates this season. Milwaukee's 14-5 record is the best in the major leagues. Last season, the Brewers went 74-88.

"I'm not sure if I snapped out of it, but I was just going up there and trying to do something small," Davis said of ending his homer-run drought. "It just turned into something big. It feels amazing. I couldn't ask for a better time for it."

Davis' third hit of the game came off Jeanmar Gomez (0-1).

Left fielder Ryan Braun and first baseman Mark Reynolds also connected in the late innings as the Brewers got all their runs on solo homers.


They were two outs from losing in the top of the ninth inning when Braun hit his sixth home run, a drive to left field off closer Jason Grilli that tied the score at 2-2. On Saturday night, Braun's two-run homer off Grilli in the ninth gave Milwaukee an 8-7 win.

The back-to-back blown saves give Grilli three blown opportunities in seven chances after he went 33-for-35 in save opportunities last season. However, manager Clint Hurdle defended his closer.

"It is the first time in two years-plus that he's had back-to-back bad marks," Hurdle said. "This is going to show where everybody is with Grilli. Do his teammates and fans jump off the boat or not? We wanted to get him back out there because he deserved that opportunity after what he's done."

Zach Duke (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Francisco Rodriguez worked a scoreless 12th to remain perfect (7-for-7) in saves. Six Brewers relievers combined to give up only one run in eight innings.

"The bullpen was great, just great like it has been pretty much all year," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Reynolds led off the eighth inning with his fourth home run to tie the game at 1-1 and ruin Pirates starter Gerrit Cole's bid for his first career shutout.

"I was happy with my fastball all day, but that was the one time where I let one of them run back over the plate a little bit and he was able to crush it," Cole said.

Reynolds, Braun and second baseman Scooter Gennett each had two hits for the Brewers.

Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had three hits, including his sixth homer, a solo shot in the fourth inning off right-hander Marco Estrada that opened the scoring. Cole and third baseman Josh Harrison added two hits each.

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Left fielder Jose Tabata's two-out RBI infield single in the bottom of the eighth gave the Pirates a short-lived 2-1 lead.

Cole pitched a career-high eight innings and surrendered only one run and six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

Estrada allowed only one run and six hits in six innings while walking none and striking out four. Though he did not factor in the decision, Estrada remained unbeaten against the Pirates in nine career starts.

The benches and bullpens cleared in the top of the third inning when Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez slid into third base with a triple, then had words with Cole.

Gomez stood at home and watched his long drive to center field, believing it was a home run. Instead, the ball bounced high off the fence and Cole appeared to take exception to Gomez admiring his hit.

Gomez was ejected along with Pirates reserve outfielder Travis Snider and Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron. Snider suffered a cut under his right eye when he was punched from behind by Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado.

NOTES: Milwaukee 1B Lyle Overbay returned from his three-day paternity leave and OF Logan Schafer was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. ... Pittsburgh SS Jordy Mercer did not start for a second straight games because of right ankle soreness. ... Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez and Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez both got their first days off of the season after starting 18 consecutive games, but both entered in extra innings. ... C Chris Stewart made his Pirates' debut a day after being activated from the disabled list as he spelled C Russell Martin. Stewart, who was acquired from the New York Yankees in an offseason trade, had arthroscopic right knee surgery March 19. ... Milwaukee returns home to open a three-game series Monday night against San Diego with RHP Wily Peralta (2-0, 1.96) facing RHP Andrew Cashner (2-1, 1.27). ... Pittsburgh begins a four-game home series against the Cincinnati Reds Monday night with LHP Francisco Liriano (0-3, 3.96) opposing RHP Mike Leake (2-1, 2.95).

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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