Pittsburgh, PA – Aramis Ramirez's three-run double in the seventh helped the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game set at PNC Park.
Corey Hart went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Jonathan Lucroy also drove in a run for the Brewers, who have won four straight.
Michael Fiers (7-6) tied his career-high with 10 strikeouts as he gave up three runs on five hits with two walks in 6 2/3 innings to get the win.
"I had some energy coming out there tonight and wanted to get to them early," said Fiers. "They have some good hitters over there and I wanted to keep the off balance as much as I could."
Andrew McCutchen drove in two, Rod Barajas hit a solo home run while Michael McKenry and Neil Walker added an RBI each for the Pirates, who have lost four straight.
Wandy Rodriguez (8-13) gave up three runs on six hits with four walks over 6 2/3 inning. It was his seventh loss in his past eight starts.
"It's a challenging sport that we play and tonight was one of those games," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "It's a tough way to go down. You battle all night and come up just a little short. It seems like we've had that a lot lately."
Milwaukee held a three-run lead heading into the ninth and John Axford came on to close, but didn't finish. McCutchen walked to start the inning and Garrett Jones followed suit. Walker then lined a single to left to plate McCutchen, but Pedro Alvarez struck out. After Jeff Clement struck out, McKenry delivered a pinch-hit single up the middle to bring Pittsburgh within a run.
Kameron Loe, though, came on the mound and struck out Gaby Sanchez swinging for his second save of the season.
The Brewers jumped on top in the second inning. Ramirez led off with a single and came home on a double from Hart. Lucroy then singled home Hart. Milwaukee went on to load the bases with no outs, but Fiers struck out and Norichika Aoki hit into a double play to end the frame.
Pittsburgh didn't reach base in the first three innings, but got on the board in the fourth. Jose Tabata singled to leadoff and Travis Snider followed with a double. McCutchen then punched a single to left to tie the game. Jones struck out and Walker hit into a double play to end the inning.
Milwaukee went ahead in the seventh. With one out, Fiers reached base on a bunt single, but was then forced out at second on an Aoki grounder.
Jared Hughes took the mound and loaded the bases by hitting Rickie Weeks with a pitch and walking Ryan Braun. Ramirez then cleared the bags with a double to right-center and scored himself on a Hart single for a 6-2 lead.
Barajas got one back in the seventh when he clubbed a solo homer just inside the left-field foul pole for his ninth home run of the season.
Rodriguez won his last appearance when he pitched two relief innings against the Cardinals on Sunday in a 19-inning game...Milwaukee has won four of the seven with Pittsburgh this season...Rodriguez fell to 8-9 in 23 games against the Brewers.