Pirates complete sweep


Adam LaRoche matched his career-high with four hits and the Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins with a 7-4 victory on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park.

The Pirates, who have won five of six, improved to 9-6. They haven’t been three games over .500 this late in any season since 2002. The Marlins had entered the series with the best record in baseball at 11-1.

LaRoche, a career .174 hitter in April, finished 4 for 4 with three doubles, two runs scored and one RBI. He is batting .304 this season, and is 7 for 12 with five RBI since becoming the team’s primary clean-up hitter for injured Ryan Doumit.

Paul Maholm (3-0) allowed four earned runs – twice as many as first three starts of the season combined – on eight hits in six innings, but still got his 13th win in his past 16 decisions at PNC Park.

Ricky Nolasco (1-2), who allowed five earned runs in six innings, took the loss.

Maholm’s ERA rose from 0.87, second best in the NL, to 2.02. Four Pirates relievers combined to toss three scoreless innings. Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Andy LaRoche went 1 for 3 and drove in two runs, his third multi-RBI game in 63 games with the Pirates. He is batting .409 (9 for 22) since opening the season hitless in his first 18 at-bats.

Hanley Ramirez went 2 for 4 with two runs scored for the Marlins, who were swept at Pittsburgh for the first time in nearly five years.

The Pirates are off Thursday before starting a six-game road trip in San Diego and Milwaukee.

The Pirates led 3-0 after three innings, but needed a sixth-inning surge to complete their first three-game sweep of the Marlins at home in nearly five years.

With the score tied 4-all, Delwyn Young, pinch-hitting for Maholm, doubled to left-center. Nyjer Morgan followed with an RBI single to put the Pirates ahead 5-4. Morgan stole third and scored on an error by former Pirates catcher Ronny Paulino’s errant throw went into shallow left field.

Jack Wilson’s two-out single in the seventh made it 7-4.