McCutchen, Jones homer, Pirates beat Brewers 6-5

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones hit consecutive homers and James McDonald struck out eight and won for the third time in four starts when the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Sunday, June 3rd.

McDonald (5-2) held the Brewers to four hits and a walk, and only one of the three runs he allowed was earned. He pitched out of a jam in the sixth inning, then departed after throwing 100 pitches. He gave up a run for the first time after 13 scoreless innings, ending the longest scoreless run by a Pirates pitcher this season.

Joel Hanrahan pitched a shaky ninth for his 14th save of the season. Brooks Conrad led off with a solo home run, and pinch-hitter George Kottaras walked before Norichika Aoki hit into a game-ending double play.

Clint Barmes hit a solo shot off John Axford in the ninth that extended the Pirates’ lead to 6-4.

Martin Maldonado, called up earlier this week to replace injured catcher Jonathan Lucroy, hit a solo shot in the seventh for his first major league home run, and got Milwaukee within one.

McDonald led off the fifth inning with a single, and scored on McCutchen’s homer. Jones later made it 4-2 Pirates by homering for the second day in a row.

Rod Barajas added a solo homer in the top of the sixth. Brewers starter Michael Fiers (1-1) gave up four runs and eight hits with eight strikeouts and a walk in five innings in his second big league start.

Nyjer Morgan homered for the second time in three days for Milwaukee, after ending a streak of 138 plate appearances without a homer — or RBI — to start the season on Friday night.

With two outs in the first, Taylor Green hit an RBI double and Rickie Weeks singled in a run against McDonald, who struck out Cody Ransom to end the inning.

He retired 14 straight battrs before Morgan hit a solo home run with one out in the sixth inning to cut the Pirates lead to 5-3.

Morgan’s solo homer in the first inning Friday night snapped his major league record of 138 consecutive plate appearances without an RBI to start a season.

Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was held out of the lineup for a second consecutive day after aggravating a right Achilles tendon injury and hurting his right hip sliding into second base on Friday night.

Braun pinch-hit for Ransom with runners on first and second in the eighth but flied out deep to right to end the inning. The Brewers were without third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who left Saturday night’s game with a strained left quadriceps. Green got the start at third Sunday.

Barmes hit an RBI single in the second to get Pittsburgh on the board.

The Brewers scored two unearned runs off of McDonald in the first when Morgan reached on an error, stole second, and scored on Taylor Green’s double. Rickie Weeks followed with a run-scoring single.

NOTES: The Brewers have used a new starting lineup in each of the last 17 games. Casey McGehee, a member of the Brewers playoff team last year, got a start at third base for the Pirates on Sunday. Pirates rookie first baseman Matt Hague’s hitting streak ended at eight games after going 0 for 4. He had hit safely in every game in which he had played since being promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis on May 25. Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf entered the game as a pinch runner in the ninth.

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