Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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Brewers Beat Pirates With No Brawls

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[May 14, 2014]  MILWAUKEE -- Carlos Gomez was still in the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup and Gerrit Cole was on the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, but aside from a misplaced change-up that brushed Gomez on the elbow, there was no rematch of last month's bench-clearing brawl at Miller Park.

This time Gomez accounted for what proved to be the winning run, scoring on a two-run single by catcher Jonathan Lucroy in the third inning in the Brewers' 5-2 victory over the Pirates.

Center fielder Gomez had yet to learn the result of his appeal of a three-game suspension for his role in the incident, which began when Cole confronted Gomez after hitting a triple at PNC Park.

Cole (3-3) was soundly jeered during pregame introductions and every time he stepped on the pitcher's mound or in the batter's box.

He plunked Gomez on the arm in the third inning, but Gomez appeared to laugh about it on the way to first. Cole seemed upset about putting what would turn out to be the go-ahead run on base, and no warnings were issued.

"He took a big swing on the fastball down and in and we were just trying to change speeds down in there and I kind of goosed it," Cole said. "I don't know why he came out of the game. Yeah, just trying to get the change-up in the same spot I threw the fastball, change speeds on him."

Cole went 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out six.

"The fastball played big tonight and the secondary pitches, especially the change-up, played well for him," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a well-pitched game and he gave us an opportunity to win the game. I was very happy with his performance and the way he was able to compete."

Offensively, the Pirates had plenty of chances against the Brewers, stranding eight runners and going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

"We had a lot of opportunities," Hurdle said. "We finally plated one in the eighth but we had five innings that we had runners in scoring position and we weren't able to make anything out of it."

Brewers starter Marco Estrada (3-1) allowed only one run -- a first-inning solo home run by second baseman Neil Walker -- and gave up six hits and two walks over six innings and finished with eight strikeouts.

"It could have been really bad today," said Estrada, who threw a season-high 112 pitches. "Luckily I had great defense behind me like I always do. I just battled. It was tough, but mentally I was there. I struggled physically making pitches, but mentally I was there. I think that's what got me through it."

After Walker's home run -- his eighth of the season -- Milwaukee took the lead back in the third, scoring two on Lucroy's two-out single to right.

The Brewers added another in the sixth when pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks drove in shortstop Jean Segura with an infield single to make it 3-1.

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Segura would cap off a 2-for-4 day with a two-out single in the seventh that scored Lucroy and gave Milwaukee a 5-1 lead.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had to juggle his lineup a bit late in the game when Gomez's back tightened up, and he decided to spell right fielder Ryan Braun in his first game back since a 15-day stint on the disabled list.

But the Brewers pounded out 12 hits and, despite stranding 11, generated enough offense for their third consecutive victory and seventh in eight meetings this season with Pittsburgh.

"I like it," Roenicke said. "I like when we're getting on base and different guys are doing it through the lineup. I think that's what we're going to need to do with Aramis [Ramirez] out and [Ryan Braun] coming back. The other guys are getting on base. We got some big hits today.

"Rickie's pinch hit was huge. Luc's ball that he dropped in right field was huge. Seggy's ball up the middle was huge. When everybody is contributing it means we are getting a lot of guys on base throughout the lineup."

An error on Segura in the eighth would lead to another Pittsburgh run, but the Pirates left runners stranded at second and third with two outs and were held scoreless in the ninth by right-hander Francisco Rodriguez, who notched his 16th save of the season.

NOTES: Milwaukee made a pair of roster moves Tuesday, optioning OF Caleb Gindl to Triple-A Nashville while recalling utility man Elian Herrera. The Brewers also placed 3B Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and activated OF Ryan Braun, who had been dealing with a strained right oblique. ... Pittsburgh OF Starling Marte worked out before the game Tuesday but was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game due to tightness in his back.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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