Pirates lose late to Brewers
A bases-loaded single in the ninth rescues Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Bill Hall got his chance to win the game, just as he expected.
Hall's bases-loaded single in the ninth inning gave the Milwaukee Brewers an 8-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
The Pirates rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth against closer Dan Kolb to tie it at 7.
But Geoff Jenkins doubled against Brian Meadows (2-3) leading off the bottom half and went to third on Wes Helms' single. After an intentional walk to Lyle Overbay, Hall grounded a single through a drawn-in infield.
"When we came in after they tied the game, I felt I was going to get up and win the game," Hall said. "It's kind of a confidence I have in myself."
Jenkins also homered for the Brewers, and Luis Vizcaino (4-2) got two outs for the win. Ben Sheets allowed 11 hits and five runs in seven innings, striking out six.
Hall's ninth-inning single broke the third tie of a game in which both teams kept charging back.
"They got behind, and they just kept battling back. They gave it all they had," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said of his team.
Yost's words were echoed by Pittsburgh's Lloyd McClendon.
"It was a weird day, just one of those games either team could have beaten the other," he said. "Our guys battled back and made it interesting. It's the one thing I love about my club, they don't give up."
Although it was only Milwaukee's sixth victory in 18 games since the All-Star break, the win kept the club from falling below Pittsburgh into the NL Central cellar.
And Hall said despite the poor start to the second half, the team has not lost its confidence in being able to win games even when it trails late.
"We've done it so many times this season that when we go to the ninth inning down five runs we think we're still going to come back. It hasn't happened lately, but we haven't lost the feeling; we haven't lost the fire," he said.
The Brewers scored three runs in the eighth to take a 7-5 lead. Hall led off with a double, advanced to third on a flyout by Chad Moeller and scored on a squeeze-bunt single by Craig Counsell to tie it at 5. Scott Podsednik's RBI triple gave the Brewers the lead, and he scored on a wild pitch by John Grabow.
Kolb walked pinch-hitter Bobby Hill with one out in the ninth, then hit Jason Kendall with a pitch and gave up an RBI double to Jack Wilson. Rob Mackowiak's sacrifice fly off Vizcaino tied it at 7.
"I can't sit here and make excuses. They just flat out beat me, and that's just the way it goes," Meadows said.
Milwaukee tied the game 2-2 in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Hall and an RBI groundout by Chad Moeller.
Jenkins' two-out solo homer in the fifth made it 3-3. The Brewers narrowed the Pirates' lead to 5-4 in the seventh on Jenkins' RBI groundout.
The Pirates scored twice in the seventh to go ahead 5-3 on Kendall's RBI double and Mackowiak's run-scoring single.
The Pirates went ahead 3-2 in the fifth on a double by Wilson that drove in starter Kip Wells, who doubled to start the inning. Randall Simon hit a two-run homer in the first to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead. It was his second of the season.
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