Pirates Notebook: Doumit vs. Hoffman II

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MILWAUKEE -- Once again, it was Ryan Doumit vs. Trevor Hoffman.

Once again, ninth inning.

And once again, Doumit prevailed, belting Hoffman's trademark changeup for a tying home run on the way to the Pirates' 6-5, 14-inning victory Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

"It's cool," Doumit said.

This one was different, too, and more impressive in several ways.

For one, Hoffman clearly was avoiding the changeup Tuesday night -- only three of 20 pitches -- when he allowed Ronny Cedeno's home run and Doumit's grand slam in the Pirates' 7-3 victory. That brought heavy questioning afterward, including about Hoffman's health.

So, this time, Hoffman went all-changeup at Doumit, four in a row. On the home run, Doumit had to bend his knees a bit, reach down and essentially one-arm it over the fence in right.

"What am I supposed to say?" Hoffman said. "It was a good pitch. He stayed back long enough to get good wood on it."

Milwaukee catcher Gregg Zaun: "He had one hand on the bat, he's a big guy, and he put the barrel on it. Tip your cap. He hit a great pitch."

Doumit called Hoffman's changeup "filthy" and said: "The pitch I hit fooled me a little bit. I didn't put the best of swings on it, but I guess I got enough of it."

Hoffman, a future Hall of Famer as baseball's all-time saves leader with 594, now has blown four in seven chances and has a 13.00 ERA.

Two signs of how striking that is: Hoffman gave up two home runs all of last year, but has given up six already this year, and two to Doumit in as many nights and as many at-bats. Going back further, Doumit is only the second player to homer twice off Hoffman in the same season, the other being the Colorado Rockies' Dante Bichette in 1996.

Burres gets nod

The Pirates named left-hander Brian Burres as the starter tonight in Los Angeles over right-hander Brian Bass.

Burres has made three appearances, including two starts of four innings each, with a 9.31 ERA and seven walks in 91/3 total innings.

Buried treasure

• Outfielder Brandon Jones, designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Class AAA Indianapolis.

• General manager Neal Huntington had stated earlier in the week that Kevin Hart might be the closest to joining the Pirates of the starters in Indianapolis, but that view might have changed Wednesday: Hart allowed eight runs in two innings, with four walks and only half his 68 pitches for strikes, in his start at Pawtucket, R.I.

Neil Walker continues to scorch the ball for Indianapolis, going 4 for 4 with his third home run Wednesday. His average is at .333.

• The Pirates have hit seven home runs in the past two games, one more than their total in the previous 13 games.

Dejan Kovacevic: dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Find more at PBC Blog .


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