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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Brewers Take Series With 5-2 Extra Inning Win

From Sportsline.com:

The Milwaukee Brewers have done plenty of losing in Pittsburgh over the years. Now, they've found a way to beat the Pirates -- by making sure reliever Damaso Marte gets into the game.

David Bell's bases-loaded single, his fourth hit of the game, drove in two runs in a three-run 13th inning against Marte and the Brewers rallied to beat the Pirates 5-2 Wednesday.

Six relievers combined to pitch seven shutout innings as the Brewers won the final two games of the three-game series after losing seven in a row in Pittsburgh over the last two seasons. The Brewers were 15-35 in PNC Park until winning twice in a 22-hour span, beating Marte each time.

"We've had problems here in the past, so it's nice to come in here and take two of three," Brewers starter Chris Capuano said.

Geremi Gonzalez (4-2) pitched a scoreless 12th for the victory and Francisco Cordero finished up for his eighth save in eight opportunities since being traded by the Rangers to the Brewers on Aug. 9. Cordero has yet to allow a run in 10 innings with Milwaukee, and has pitched in all but one of the Brewers' wins since they acquired him.

"That's what we needed there," catcher Mike Rivera said of the bullpen. "The key is pitching, and they did a great job."

Marte's wildness quickly got him into trouble in the 12th. After walking leadoff hitter Tony Graffanino, Marte (0-7) threw two wild pitches ahead of intentional walks to Bill Hall and Damian Miller. Bell's single made it 4-2 and Rivera added a second RBI single.

"The walk is going to get you there," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "That deep into the bullpen, that deep into the game, you've got to get us into the dugout with an opportunity to win the game."

Capuano is winless in seven starts since being chosen for the NL All-Star team, but made a second consecutive strong start by giving up two runs -- one earned -- in six innings. He was coming off a 2-1 Brewers loss Friday to Atlanta in which he didn't figure in the decision.

Capuano was giving up an average of nearly one home run every three innings since the break -- 11 homers in 36 1/3 innings -- but kept the ball in the park for the first time in those seven starts. He and the relievers also kept Jose Castillo hitless in five at-bats, striking him out three times.

Castillo began the game with a .650 average (13-for-20), five homers and 16 RBI in six home games against the Brewers this season.

"We went back to the drawing board and tried some different things against Castillo, who's hurt us quite a bit, and today it worked," Capuano said.


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