MILWAUKEE (AP) — Backup catcher Chris Stewart’s single keyed a three-run burst in the ninth inning against Francisco Rodriguez and sent the Pittsburgh Pirates past Milwaukee 4-1 Wednesday night, ending the Brewers’ three-game winning streak.
Rodriguez (1-1) had given up only one run in 21 innings in his first 21 games. But the Pirates tagged the Milwaukee closer for four consecutive hits to beat the Brewers for only the second time in nine games.
Milwaukee managed only six hits and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position minus Carlos Gomez. The star center fielder dropped his appeal Wednesday and began a three-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing fracas at Pittsburgh on Easter Sunday.
Ike Davis singled past diving first baseman Mark Reynolds in the Pittsburgh ninth and Jordy Mercer singled sharply to center.
Stewart, making only his eighth start of the season, then singled to center. The throw from Gomez’ replacement, Elian Herrera, was wide of the plate, allowing pinch-runner Clint Barmes to score without a play and snap a 1-all tie.
Starling Marte, playing for the first time since exiting Saturday with tightness in his back, then hit a two-run double to the center-field wall.
Tony Watson (4-0) pitched a scoreless eighth. Mark Melancon worked the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.
Pittsburgh won for just the fifth time in 16 road games.
Pirates starter Francisco Liriano rebounded from two straight mediocre outings, but remained winless in nine starts. He received his fifth consecutive no-decision after allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out seven in six innings.
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta had another strong outing, giving one run on five hits and a walk while striking out four in seven innings. The right-hander received a no-decision but lowered his ERA to 2.05 in eight starts.
Herrera, Gomez’s replacement, went 0 for 4 and grounded out to strand Khris Davis at third in a 1-all game to end the seventh.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Andrew McCutchen walked, advanced to third on Pedro Alvarez’s single and scored on Jose Tabata’s grounder.
Milwaukee scored in the fifth when Davis doubled and later came home on Jeff Bianchi’s sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Brewers LHP Tom Gorzelany threw two scoreless innings in his first rehab start for Single-A Brevard County against Fort Myers in the Florida State League. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out one while coming back from offseason surgery on his left shoulder. ... Trainers examined Liriano in the fifth inning, but the left-hander stayed in the game. He was wincing and bending over at the waist or squatting after a couple of pitches.