THE PIRATES SNAPPED A THREE-GAME LOSING STREAK.



The Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Ryan Vogelsong is starting to make the most of another chance at the starting rotation.
The Pittsburgh right-hander pitched for the traded Kris Benson and threw five strong innings Saturday to lead the Pirates past the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-1.
Vogelsong (3-7) gave up three hits and one run in his first start since June 23, when he was sent to the bullpen following a seven-game losing streak. He struck out four and walked one.
"I like his stuff, and he's got a bright future," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "The light is flickering, and we're trying to get it to stay on."
Benson was traded to the New York Mets on Friday in a five-player deal in which the Pirates obtained infielders Ty Wigginton and Jose Bautista and pitcher Matt Peterson. Wigginton made his first start for Pittsburgh at third base and went 0-for-4.
Vogelsong also doubled in a run in the Pirates' three-run second inning. He entered with a 6.69 ERA, but had done well out of the bullpen recently, giving up two runs in seven innings over five appearances.
Speed
Saturday, his fastball hit 96 mph several times, although he was wild early.
Vogelsong threw 23 pitches in the first inning and went to full counts on the first four batters he faced before retiring all four. The only run he gave up was Geoff Jenkins' solo homer to lead off the fourth.
"It was a good start, and I'll take it," Vogelsong said.
"My main concern was being able to go deep into the ballgame. I knew I had thrown a lot of pitches and really had to bear down and get some quick outs."
The Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak in which they were shutout twice. They improved to 9-2 this season against Milwaukee when Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 32 chances.
Victor Santos (9-6) took the loss, lasting just five innings.
He gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out six in his shortest outing since June 20. Santos was 7-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts during June and July.
He had surrendered three earned runs in his last three starts combined, the last two being losses in which he was back but very little offense.
"He's got to have some run support," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "If we score some runs, that 10th win comes."
Early cushion
Pittsburgh scored three times in the second inning with two outs. Tike Redman singled off Santos' glove, stole second and scored on Bobby Hill's single.
Vogelsong doubled down the left-field line for his second career RBI and he scored on Jason Kendall's single.
"It was a ground ball, just down the line," Santos said of Vogelsong's double.
"He could have easily grounded it out to the shortstop."
The Pirates added an unearned run in the fifth. Kendall reached on a throwing error by third baseman Wes Helms and scored when Jason Bay was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Milwaukee has lost 10 of 13 games. In those defeats, the Brewers have scored 13 runs. Three times in that span, they have been shut out. Four other times, they have managed just one run.
"I got one," Santos said. "I am not frustrated at all. That's the way it is. It will turn around. You just have to be patient."
The Pirates' offense had struggled just as much recently.
Pittsburgh went more than 26 innings without an extra-base hit before Jack Wilson doubled in the first Saturday.
Wilson was 3-for-5 with a single, double and triple.
PITTSBURGHMILWAUKEE
abrhbiabrhbi
Kendall c5111Pdsdnk cf4010
JWilsn ss5030BClark rf4000
Mckwk rf4010Jenkins lf4111
CWilsn 1b4000Helms 3b4000
Bay lf3001Ovrbay 1b3020
TRdmn cf4120BHall 2b3000
Wggntn 3b4000GBnntt c3010
Hill 2b3111Cunsell ss3000
Castillo 2b1000VSants p0000
Vglsng p2111Grieve ph1000
JBtista ph1000Burba p0000
Grabow p0000Wise p0000
Mdows p0000Brnyan ph1000
Gnzalez p0000Kinney p0000
ANunez ph1010
Mesa p0000
Totals374104Totals30151
Pittsburgh030010000--4
Milwaukee000100000--1
E--Helms (11). DP--Pittsburgh 2. LOB--Pittsburgh 7, Milwaukee 3. 2B--JWilson (24), Vogelsong (2). 3B--JWilson (8). HR--Jenkins (15). SB--TRedman (11). CS--ANunez (3).
IPHRERBBSO
Pittsburgh
Vogelsong W,3-7531114
Grabow110001
Meadows110001
Gonzalez100001
Mesa S,30100000
Milwaukee
VSantos L,9-6574306
Burba210001
Wise110001
Kinney110000
HBP--by VSantos (Bay). Umpires--Home, Marty Foster; First, Mike Fichter; Second, Tim Tschida; Third, Jeff Nelson. T--2:34. A--35,152.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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