Pirates Hold On To Win 9-8

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: Alex Presley #44 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by Nick Leyva #16 as he runs the base after hitting a home run during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 26, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

Whew. The Pirates somehow held on for a rare, 9-8 win at Miller Park. The game kicked off with an upper-deck homer by Alex Presley. The Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the first, but the Pirates had a three-run second, with Pedro Alvarez dumping in an RBI single, along with an RBI fielder's choice by Chase D'Arnaud and a run-scoring single by Presley.

The Brewers came back for two more in the fourth, but the Pirates scored three in the fifth to make it 7-3 - after a leadoff triple by Xavier Paul and a couple of walks, Pedro Alvarez hit an outside pitch by Shaun Marcum to the opposite field for a two-run double. Then, Garrett Jones came home on a wild pitch.

Milwaukee scored two on a double by Yuniesky Betancourt in the fifth, but Neil Walker knocked in Pedro Ciriaco to get one back in the sixth. 

The Brewers then tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Jared Hughes relieved Charlie Morton and began by getting Craig Counsell and Corey Hart, but the next six batters reached base with two outs. Finally Daniel McCutchen got Jon Lucroy to line out to end it with the bases loaded. 

In the seventh, though, the Pirates got some two-out action of their own, as Michael McKenry walked with two outs and Alex Presley knocked him in.

Miraculously, the lead held. McCutchen handled the seventh, Jason Grilli got out of the eighth despite walking a batter and hitting two more, and Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth. Counsell led off with a single, then Carlos Gomez pinch-ran and advanced to third on two wild pitches. But Hart struck out, and Neil Walker gunned down Gomez at home. George Kottaras grounded out harmlessly to end it.

Nice job by the Pirates' hitters in this one - they walked six times and took advantage of the free passes they got. Also, Alex Presley!

By the way, Andrew McCutchen sat out the game after being hit in the ... uh ... "lower abdomen" with a ball. Ouch.

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