Marte, Inge spark rally, Pirates fend off sweep in Milwaukee


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MILWAUKEE -- He has been on the roster less than two weeks, but the legend of Brandon Inge is growing.

It was big enough Wednesday to beat the monsters of Miller Park.

Inge drove in the winning run with a bloop single in the eighth inning as the Pirates came back from an early deficit to beat the Brewers, 6-4, and avoid a sweep.

Since making his Pirates debut April 23, Inge has three RBIs, all of them the eventual winning runs.

"I love being up in key spots," Inge said. "I don't know why. I've just played long enough and have enough time that those situations, those are the ones you live for. Those are the ones you dream about as a little kid."

The Pirates finish a 10-game road swing, going 6-4. Inge's first game with the Pirates (16-12) was the second game of that road swing, and since then he has learned a lot about this team.

"No matter how many runs we've been down, we keep having fun, keep battling, keep nipping away," he said. "That's the sign of a good ballclub. A lot of teams, when they're down two, three runs, they roll over and die. This team has not done that once. That's a good thing. That means you're not panicking."

His RBI was part of a four-run eighth inning, which started with the Pirates facing a two-run deficit.

Starling Marte hit a two-run home run off Milwaukee reliever John Axford to tie the score with no outs in the eighth, his second tying home run in as many games. After Travis Snider legged out an infield single to start the inning, Marte cranked Axford's 1-1 offering, a 95 mph fastball.

"I was looking for a fastball right down the middle," Marte said. "He made a fastball down, and I got a good swing on it."

Axford, once the Brewers' closer, has allowed six home runs in 13 outings this season. Marte has three home runs on the year.

Bryan Morris, who took his first career loss Tuesday night after allowing a solo home run in two innings pitched, earned his first career win Wednesday after getting Ryan Braun to ground into an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the seventh.

"It just shows you how crazy of a game it is," Morris said. "[Tuesday] night I walked away with my first major league loss, and then [Wednesday] I come in, throw two pitches and get a win."

Jose Tabata left the game in the eighth with an apparent left leg injury after stealing second base with two outs. But James McDonald, pinch-running for Tabata, scored on Inge's single. Inge, who went to third on Rickie Weeks' error, scored when Pedro Alvarez singled to right field, giving the Pirates an insurance run.

Brewers starter Hiram Burgos, making his third career start, allowed two earned runs on four hits in seven innings.

Making a spot start, Jeanmar Gomez couldn't give the Pirates much length. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits in four innings. Gomez was pitching in place of Jonathan Sanchez, whom the Pirates moved to the bullpen Monday before designating him for assignment Tuesday.

The Brewers (14-12) blasted back-to-back home runs for the third time in the past three games to take a two-run lead in the fourth inning.

Carlos Gomez homered to lead off the inning, crushing a 3-2 sinker that never dropped out, clearing the wall in straightaway center field.

Jeanmar Gomez followed with another sinker on his next pitch. And, like the previous pitch, this one stayed elevated as Yuniesky Betancourt hit it over the wall in left field for his seventh home run of the season. He hit seven home runs or fewer in three of his past five seasons.

He homered in all three games against the Pirates this series.

Alvarez and Michael McKenry also hit home runs for the Pirates, both of them solo shots.

Gomez threw 30 pitches in the first inning, exactly a third of what manager Clint Hurdle considered his maximum entering the game.

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Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1722 and Twitter @msanserino. First Published May 2, 2013 4:00 AM


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