Brewers woes continue in loss to Pirates

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Vance Worley worked six effective innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped out of a lengthy slump to top the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 on Friday night.

Worley (1-1) struck out six while allowing two runs on six hits. Gregory Polanco went 3 for 4 for Pittsburgh. Starling Marte had two hits, including a long two-run homer off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth that broke open a close game. Mark Melancon got the final out for his first save.

The Pirates came in hitting just .207 through their first nine games but collected 11 hits against Jimmy Nelson (1-1) and three Milwaukee relievers.

Khris Davis had his sixth career three-hit game for the Brewers, who have lost three in a row. Nelson (1-1) couldn’t duplicate his first start of the year, when he dominated the Pirates in an easy win. He gave up three runs in five innings. Pittsburgh added three runs in the eighth off Broxton.

The Pirates have sputtered during the opening 10 days of the season as the offense that was supposed to be a strength has slouched out of the gate. Pittsburgh came in with the second-worst team batting average in the majors and managed just five hits total in back-to-back shutout losses to Detroit.

Nelson overwhelmed the Pirates in a dominant performance last weekend, needing just 88 pitches to throw a career-high nine strikeouts in seven innings. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle promised a more patient approach this time around. Nelson breezed through his first trip through the lineup before the Pirates finally came alive.

Francisco Cervelli led off the fourth by taking a curveball to the rib cage. Polanco followed with a single and Cervelli ended Pittsburgh’s scoreless drought at 22 innings when he came home on a groundout by Andrew McCutchen. Polanco actually went from first to third on McCutchen’s grounder to short. While Polanco didn’t score, it proved symbolic of the way Pittsburgh planned to attack the Brewers on the basepaths.

Marte led off the fifth with an infield hit, stole second then scored on a single by Sean Rodriguez. Rodriguez followed suit, swiping and then scoring on a single to left by Josh Harrison to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead that Worley and four relievers would not relinquish.

Polanco singled with one out in the ninth, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on a single by Pedro Alvarez through a drawn-in infield that made it 4-2 before Marte hit a 451-shot to the second deck in left against Broxton.

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