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Francisco Cervelli's homer not enough as Pirates fall to Brewers, 3-1

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Francisco Cervelli hit his first home run in almost a year, but a pair of Brewers homers was enough for Milwaukee to down the Pirates, 3-1, on Thursday night. The Bucs had won their previous six at Miller Park.

Scooter Gennett, the Brewers' second batter of the night, hit a two-run homer to left-center in the first inning to put Milwaukee ahead. Ryan Vogelsong was good from that point on, striking out seven and allowing two hits and two walks in four innings before he was left in too long and screwed it all up was lifted for a pinch hitter.

Recently minted Pirates nemesis Chase Anderson was pretty effective, too, striking out six, walking one and giving up four hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Cervelli got the Pirates on the board with his first homer of the season, smacking a line drive just over the right-field wall in the fifth. Just after that, with two outs, Jordy Mercer was sent up to hit for Vogelsong, and grounded out. Mercer had been pulled from the original starting lineup with right forearm discomfort.

Also on the injury front, Starling Marte started the game, having sat out since September 5 with a back injury. He singled in the first inning, but tweaked the back on a swing in the third and left the game.

National League MVP front-runner, I think, Sean Rodriguez hit a liner right at Chris Carter in the seventh, doubling Jung-Ho Kang off of first. This came after Rodriguez was not pleased with a called third strike in the fifth. He also struck out looking to end the game. There's not much you can do when your superstar has that kind of luck.

Trevor Williams pitched a couple solid innings of relief before in the seventh allowing a solo homer to Carter, a no-doubt opposite-field shot caught by a fan in a Pirates hat and orange "Deer Camp" shirt. So he'll have a story for the next hunting trip, I suppose.

The Cardinals were idle Thursday; the Pirates fell four games behind them. As I submit this recap to cyberspace, the Mets are tied with the Phillies in extras and the Giants are still early in their game in San Francisco.