Pirates
Brewers
3 - 4 Final/12
  for this game

Hardy lifts Brewers over Pirates in 12th inning

Aug 24, 2008 - 11:28 PM By J. R. Radcliffe PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- One of the benefits the Milwaukee Brewers have trumpeted since the arrival of CC Sabathia has been his ability to work deep into games, thus keeping the bullpen better rested.

On a rare occasion when Sabathia was not at his dominant best, Brewers relievers demonstrated that point.

Milwaukee's bullpen threw six effective innings, including a major escape act by Guillermo Mota in the top of the 12th, and J.J. Hardy hit a game-winning single on his bobblehead giveaway day as the Brewers trumped the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, 4-3.

Mike Cameron notched a career high with five hits, including a go-ahead home run with two outs in the eighth to give the Brewers a 3-2 edge headed into the ninth. The Pirates rallied to tie, but Rickie Weeks walked with one out against Jason Davis (2-3) in the 12th, stole second and stepped on the plate just ahead of the throw on Hardy's drive to center.

The Brewers (76-55) finished off a series sweep before the sixth-largest crowd in Miller Park history and have won nine of 10 Sabathia starts since the left-hander joined the team. Sabathia left with a no decision, but the Brewers still won a fourth straight game and remained 3 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis (73-59) in the Wild Card standings.

"You just had the feeling if we got out of that jam there, we could win the ballgame in the bottom of that inning," Brewers manager Ned Yost said, referring to a bases loaded, nobody out situation in the 12th. "Scoring runs was hard for both sides today."

After Carlos Villanueva allowed a single and two walks opening his second inning of work, Mota (4-5) entered and induced a shallow fly from Brandon Moss before striking out Chris Gomez, one pitch after a liner down the third base line was ruled just foul. Luis Rivas grounded back to the pitcher and set the stage for Hardy's heroics.

"I just saw it pretty good," Hardy said. "On 1-0, I was planning on swinging at that fastball, but I saw Rickie take off, so I figured I'd take it and let him get to second in scoring position. The splitter, it seemed like he hung it a little bit and it found a hole for me."

Milwaukee now has 23 wins decided in its last at-bat, including eight of the "walk-off" variety.

Salomon Torres was unable to lock down his 26th save when Rivas led off the ninth with a single, reached second on a wild pitch and scored on Nate McLouth's RBI single. McLouth, missing his fifth straight start with a viral infection, remained a day-to-day option in the eyes of manager John Russell.

"Both sides had opportunities, and it did seem like the home team was going to win this one because they had last at-bat," Russell said. "You can't fault the effort from the guys. They hustled all day long and just couldn't get it done. Milwaukee did the same thing and came up with a big hit."

The two teams combined for 32 hits, but only three went for extra bases. Corey Hart led off with a double in the sixth -- to that point, each of the game's first 16 hits had all been singles -- and Cameron laced a run-scoring single one batter later to tie the game at 1-1.

Pinch hitting for Sabathia, Gabe Kapler rolled a go-ahead single through the left side with two outs, giving Milwaukee a temporary 2-1 lead. That put Sabathia briefly in line for the win, though Nyjer Morgan's looping RBI single against David Riske in the seventh re-knotted the score at 2-2.

The prize of this summer's trade market allowed one run on eight hits in six innings, with five strikeouts and zero walks. He threw 96 pitches, a far cry from the 130 he tossed in his last outing, a complete-game victory Monday.

"I didn't really have the control that I normally have, and I was throwing a bunch of pitches," Sabathia said. "I think maybe having six days off had more to do with it than anything. But I felt like I made some pitches when I needed to and kept us in the game."

Pittsburgh accumulated three straight singles after two outs against Sabathia in the fifth, with Ryan Doumit's broken-bat blooper accounting for the first run of the game.

The Brewers lost a major scoring opportunity in the third, when they loaded the bases with nobody out. Ryan Braun hit a moonshot off a third-deck facade in deep left field, but foul, and later struck out prior to a Prince Fielder double play back to the pitcher. Milwaukee again loaded the bases with one out in the fourth but failed to score.

Braun and Fielder endured a brutal day in the middle of the order, combining to go 0-for-9 with three double plays and five strikeouts. Cameron dismissed the frustrations that played out over the course of the day.

"If you win, everything's all roses," he said. "There's no gray area for that. We found a way to get it done today."

Cameron said it was his first career opportunity to get five hits in a ballgame when he stepped to the plate and singled in the 11th. Over his last 19 games, the center fielder is batting .382 with seven home runs and 14 RBIs.

"I'm just putting a good swing on the ball and seeing it well," Cameron said.

Pirates pinch hitter Freddy Sanchez, hitting for starter Paul Maholm, hit a one-out triple in the seventh and scored on Morgan's bloop.

Maholm became the first Pirates pitcher to work six innings or more in 20 straight starts since Rick Rhoden in 1986, holding the Brewers to just two runs despite 12 hits and two walks in his six frames. Maholm entered the game with a 2.79 ERA since May 31, third among Major League left-handers behind Sabathia and New York's Johan Santana.

Maholm was long gone by the time Hardy finished the contest, an especially rewarding circumstance given the Miller Park giveaway of a Hardy bobblehead the same afternoon.

"It's fun, but it hurts," Hardy said of the last-bat victory. "Everyone is kind of pounding on you. I didn't take my helmet off in time, so my head was getting a beating."






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    FINAL 12
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    MILWAUKEE 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0
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    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 3 16 0
    MILWAUKEE 0 0 1 4 15 0 (FINAL 12)

    BATTERIES: PIT

    Aug 24 6:08 PM


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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY J.J. HARDY SCORED RICKIE WEEKS.
    FINAL SCORE: MILWAUKEE 4, PITTSBURGH 3

    Pirates 3, Brewers 4  Bot 12, 0 OutsAug 24 6:08 PM
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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NATE MCLOUTH SCORED LUIS RIVAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MCLOUTH ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    MILWAUKEE 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: N MORGAN (.213, 2-FOR-4, RBI)

    Pirates 3, Brewers 3  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 24 4:53 PM
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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE CAMERON (23) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF DENNY BAUTISTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2, MILWAUKEE 3
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: B HALL (.225, 3-FOR-3)

    Pirates 2, Brewers 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 24 4:43 PM
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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NYJER MORGAN SCORED FREDDY SANCHEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MORGAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    MILWAUKEE 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: JA WILSON (.280, 2-FOR-3)

    Pirates 2, Brewers 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 24 4:09 PM
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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GABE KAPLER SCORED BILL HALL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G KAPLER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    MILWAUKEE 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: R WEEKS (.231, 1-FOR-3)

    Pirates 1, Brewers 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 24 3:58 PM
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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE CAMERON SCORED COREY HART.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    MILWAUKEE 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: B HALL (.223, 2-FOR-2)

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    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN DOUMIT SCORED NYJER MORGAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R DOUMIT ON FIRST, J WILSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    MILWAUKEE 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: AD LAROCHE (.269, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates 1, Brewers 0  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 24 3:29 PM
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