Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 4, Brewers 2 Mighty Martin Drives out a Winner Three-Run Homer in Eighth Inning Erases Gallardo's Stellar Outing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 4, Brewers 2 Mighty Martin Drives out a Winner Three-Run Homer in Eighth Inning Erases Gallardo's Stellar Outing

Article excerpt

Russell Martin propped himself up on the dugout railing, helmet held aloft as the sellout crowd of 37,974 at PNC Park roared. Gone were the concerns of the previous seven innings -- a looming defeat against the Milwaukee Brewers, the team in immediate pursuit of the Pirates; a good start from Jeff Locke spoiled; the inability of the offense to accomplish anything against Yovani Gallardo.

So the crowd showed their appreciation as Martin took a curtain call. Martin hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Pirates won, 4-2, to extend their winning streak to five games and their lead over the Brewers in the wild-card race to 4 1/2 games.

"It's not the Pirates of the past, where if you gave up four or five, you're guaranteed to lose," starter Jeff Locke said. "It's not that team."

The home run came against Brewers reliever Jonathan Broxton, who allowed the tying run to the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday night in what turned into a 3-2 defeat in 13 innings. Broxton has a 13.17 ERA in his career at PNC Park.

Martin used to catch Broxton when both played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but that was some time ago. Martin was hitless in four at- bats against him before Friday.

"He made a mistake, left it out over the plate and I put a good swing on the ball," Martin said.

Starling Marte beat out an infield single to start the eighth, a play that stood after a video review. Andrew McCutchen struck out and Neil Walker singled. Martin drove a 1-1, 96-mph fastball into the seats in right-center field, his 11th home run this season. Martin raised his hand as he rounded first, pumping his fist and pounding his chest on the way to second.

"It was one of those ones where it was going to be close," he said. "I wasn't sure. I saw [Carlos] Gomez run after it, and then when I saw it clear, it's hard to be happier than that."

Ike Davis extended the lead with an RBI single. The lead held, and the Pirates won their 12th game out of the past 14. John Holdzkom earned his first major league win in relief and Mark Melancon got his 31st save. …

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