Sean Rodriguez, Andrew McCutchen and Chad Kuhl keyed a smooth 4-1 victory over the Brewers Wednesday night as the Pirates kept winning.
With two outs in the first, McCutchen hit his 24th homer of the season, a solo shot. The Pirates kept hitting after he circled the bases, as Gregory Polanco and David Freese reached on ground-ball singles and Francisco Cervelli walked.
That brought up Rodriguez, who'd entered tonight on a nine-game hitting streak, also hitting five home runs in that span. He brought home Polanco and Freese with a single to right, and the Pirates had a 3-0 lead.
Rodriguez padded that lead in the fourth when he hit Jimmy Nelson's slider for a solo homer to left center. (Later that same inning, Brewers manager Craig Counsell amusingly got ejected for arguing what turned out to be an inconsequential call.) Rodriguez's out-of-nowhere Really Good Season continues; if the Pirates do somehow end up in the playoffs, he'll be a big reason why.
But Chad Kuhl already had more runs than he'd need, cruising against a strikeout-prone Brewers lineup. Kuhl struck out six and walked one over six innings, allowing one run thanks to a couple ground-ball singles in the fifth. From there, Juan Nicasio, Felipe Rivero and Tony Watson took over, finishing the Pirates' sixth win in their past seven games.
The Bucs are now 76-75, 3.5 games back in the Wild Card chase. The Mets, Cardinals and Marlins all lost already, and the Giants are down 5-2 in the second inning as I type.