WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | Sports

Pirates Power Past Brewers

Independence Day and Pittsburgh. Of all the possible combinations of dates and opponents, the Milwaukee Brewers couldn't have picked anything worse.

Adam LaRoche hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning and Ryan Doumit added a two-run drive, leading the Pirates to a 5-3 victory Wednesday over the Brewers -- owners of the majors' worst record on the Fourth of July.

Ian Snell (7-5) withstood Ryan Braun's three-run homer with none out in the first, settling down to shut out Milwaukee over the next seven innings. The Pirates turned two double plays and Snell didn't allow any scoring in the seventh despite throwing two wild pitches.

The Brewers put a runner on third when Prince Fielder doubled and Johnny Estrada singled with one out in the sixth, but Geoff Jenkins grounded into a double play.

Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine attempts. With Estrada on third, Rickie Weeks flied out to the center-field warning track to end it.

Independence Day is certainly no holiday for the Brewers, whose 13-25 record on the Fourth is the worst among clubs with more than 20 games played on the date.

The first-place Brewers stayed 5 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central as Chicago lost 6-0 in Washington, yet they can leave Pittsburgh on Thursday with no better than a split in the four-game series. Again, the Brewers are having trouble winning in a city where the rest of the division has won seven of 12 this season.

Nothing new -- the Brewers have lost an average of more than two of every three games in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001, going 19-39.


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