The Times West Virginian

June 30, 2013

Alvarez, Liriano help Bucs to 8th straight win


Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones each homered and Francisco Liriano pitched six strong innings as the surging Pittsburgh Pirates won their eighth straight game, 2-1 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

Alvarez hit his 20th home run with one out in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and help the Pirates to its longest winning streak since 2004. Pittsburgh, which has endured 20 consecutive losing seasons, has the best record in the major leagues at 50-30.

Jones hit a drive to the shrubbery in straightaway center field, his seventh, to lead off the fourth inning and increase the Pirates’ lead to 2-0.

That was enough for Liriano (7-3), who improved to 4-1 in five home starts this season.

Liriano gave up one run and seven hits in six innings with one walk and six strikeouts. Tony Watson, Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli each pitched one scoreless inning of relief. Grilli recorded his 27th save in 28 opportunities.

Donovan Hand (0-1) allowed both home runs but turned in a solid five-inning performance in his second major league start.

Carlos Gomez had two hits for the Brewers, who lost their fifth straight game. He singled with one out in the sixth inning and scored Milwaukee’s run on Yuniesky Betancourt’s single with two outs.

Brewers shortstop Jean Segura extended his hitting streak to 11 games but second baseman Rickie Weeks’ streak ended at a career-best 13.

Pittsburgh has won four straight games against Milwaukee and eight of 10 after losing nine in a row.

NOTES: Milwaukee LF Ryan Braun (bruised left thumb) is scheduled to a swing a bat Tueday for the first time since going on the disabled list retroactive to June 10.