Lastings Milledge hit his first home run for the Pirates and Ross Ohlendorf pitched another strong game in a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night at PNC Park.
Delwyn Young also homered for the Pirates, who have suddenly found some pop in their bats after a disastrous, power-lacking four-game losing streak.
The Pirates have won two in a row in the wake of a dire skid in which they lost 17 of 20 games. They will try to win three in a row for the first time since June 24-27 — and sweep a team they lost to 17 times in a row spanning the past two years — when they meet the Brewers tonight.
Ohlendorf (11-8) allowed one earned run on five hits in seven-plus innings. He struck five, including Brewer slugger Prince Fielder twice, and walked two. Ohlendorf improved to 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA since the All-Star break.
Andy LaRoche, hitting cleanup for the first time, went 2 for 2 with one RBI and a stolen base and Garrett Jones was 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
Fielder hit his 32nd home run, a solo shot in the second. Brewers starter Manny Parra (8-9) allowed four runs — three earned — on six hits in six innings.
It was Milledge’s two-run, two-out homer in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead, that drew the biggest cheers from the crowd of 12,188.
One day after hitting three home runs in a 9-5 victory over the Brewers, the Pirates used another deep ball to take a first-inning lead. With one out, Young lined Manny Parra’s pitch over the left-field wall for a 1-0 lead.
Fielder’s solo home run in the top of the second tied the score at 1-all, but the Pirates took advantage of some sloppy Brewers’ fielding to go ahead, 2-1, in the third.
With runners on second and third and two out, Parra fielded Ryan Doumit’s soft grounder and threw wildly to first. The throw pulled Fielder off the bag and Young scored.
In the fifth, Jones opened the inning with a perfect bunt single. LaRoche walked, but Doumit grounded into a double play. Five pitches later, Milledge drove a two-run homer to left for a 4-1 lead.
Jones doubled in the seventh and scored on LaRoche’s one-out single for a 5-1 lead. The Brewers scored on Casey McGehee’s RBI-groundout in the ninth off Jesse Chavez to close out the scoring at 5-2.
- By John Grupp