Game 88: Hart’s Walk Off Homer Caps Brewers Comeback

Thank you, All-Star Break, for ending the misery of the first half of the baseball season. The Pirates bullpen failed to hold two leads in blowing what should’ve been the second career win for Brad Lincoln.

The Pirates collected four hits and sent eight men to the plate during a three run second off of Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf. Lastings Milledge hit a solo homer with one out to start it. Three straight singles – the last from Lincoln – scored one run. Andrew McCutchen hit a sac fly to score the final run of the inning.

Milwaukee used a combination of small ball and long ball to come back. Alcides Escobar doubled leading off the third. Wolf sacrificed him to third and he scored on a sac fly from Rickie Weeks. In the fourth inning Ryan Braun and George Kottaras hit solo homers to tie the game.

The Pirates regained the lead in the sixth when Pedro Alvarez led off with a homer. Lincoln came out to start the seventh but was pulled in favor of Javier Lopez after giving up a lead off single to Escobar. Lopez got Jason Inglett and yielded to Brendan Donnelley who retired the next two hitters without allowing a run.

In the 8th Joel Hanrahan gave up a two out RBI single to Carlos Gomez to score Ryan Braun, knotting the game at four apiece. The Pirates didn’t sit still for long. Ronny Cedeno reached on a bunt. He moved to third on a single from Delwyn Young, pinch hitting for Hanrahan. McCutchen provided the go ahead run with a sac fly.

But in the 9th, Octavio Dotel couldn’t hold the lead. Jim Edmonds led off with a double and one out later Corey Hart went ‘bang’ and ended the game with a homer.

Dotel was the loser. John Axford got the win despite the run he allowed in the top of the 9th. Lincoln allowed three runs on seven hits over six plus innings. He struck out three and walked two. Randy Wolf allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. He whiffed five and issued three free passes.

The Good
No complaints about Lincoln’s outing.

Cedeno had three hits.

The Bad
The top four spots in the order went 0-13.

Blowing a game twice in the late innings.

The Rest
Wolf made his fourth start of the year against Pittsburgh. He is 1-1 on the year and 8-2 overall in his career.

This was Cedeno’s first three hit game of 2010.

Braun was 6-12 with two homers, five runs scored and two RBI in the three game series.

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