Ohlendorf sharp, Pirates beat Brewers again 5-2
Ohlendorf allowed only one run over seven-plus innings, Delwyn Young and Lastings Milledge homered and the Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Garret Jones had two hits and scored twice and Andy LaRoche was on base four times with a run and an RBI for Pittsburgh, which won for only the fifth time since July 24.
Ohlendorf (11-8) has three of those victories and is 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA since the All-Star break.
"At the beginning of the season, I think I felt pretty good, but I feel a lot better now," said Ohlendorf, who is starting in the majors for the first time this season.
"I feel like I'm throwing the ball much better. I really feel like since I went over my head (with his windup delivery four starts ago) that's helping me out a lot... I'm pitching with a lot of confidence. That been a big key for me."
The Brewers' Prince Fielder homered for third consecutive game to give him 32 and a majors-high 108 RBIs.
The last-place Pirates' only pitcher with a winning record, Ohlendorf (11-8) gave up five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his past seven starts. He was removed from the game when he walked Mike Rivera to lead off the eighth.
"He's fun to watch, the way he's developed and way he's taken to everything and really matured as a starting pitcher," Pirates manager John Russell said. "It's been really enjoyable to watch him grow. He's just taking it every outing and continuing to make very good — great — strides forward. He's the type of pitcher now, he can be the workhorse for you and a guy you can really count on."
Pittsburgh did not hit a home run during a 1-4 roadtrip last week, but has five in two nights against the Brewers at home. Young's solo homer, his sixth, went to left off Manny Parra in the first.
"Most teams, you hit home runs, you're going to get a good chance to win," Russell said. "They can change the scoreboard really quick. We do have some power, and when we started swinging the bat as a group, we seem to feed off it, and unfortunately, when we don't it works against us and we don't get too many hits as a team. But we're going to try to ride this wave as long as we can."
The Brewers tied the game on Fielder's solo shot that gave him 13 RBIs in his past 10 games.
Milledge hit his first homer in nearly a year with two outs and Jones on in the fifth to give the Pirates a 4-1 lead. Pittsburgh also scored on LaRoche's single in the seventh and on a Parra throwing error in the third.
The Pirates — who clinched their first series win since July 20-22 against Milwaukee — have 14 runs in two wins against the Brewers after scoring 14 combined in the six games prior (five were losses).
"Our offense is finally coming alive the last couple days," LaRoche said. "Obviously, there's still a lot of room for improvement, and our pitching is keeping us in games."
Parra (8-9) lost for the first time in six decisions dating back to June 13. He was demoted to the minors after that start but was 5-0 since his July 9 recall.
"I made two mistake (pitches) and an error," Parra said. "Pretty simple."
Ryan Braun scored on a Casey McGehee groundout in the ninth for Milwaukee's second run.
"I just saw on the stat board the Pirates' record when they do hit a home run; it was pretty good," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "I know these guys aren't going out there trying to give up home runs...but in long run, you can't win many games scoring only one run."
NOTES: Pittsburgh is 18-7 when it homers twice in a game; 32-26 when doing so at least once. ... Brewers 2B Felipe Lopez and OF Mike Cameron had a 12- and nine-game hitting streaks, respectively, snapped, but Fielder extended his streak to 10. ... Pirates C Ryan Doumit, mired in a 3-for-24 slump entering the game, batted fifth in the lineup — the first time this season he started and did not bat cleanup. Manager John Russell said did that to "relax" him.
Last updated: 11:07 am Thursday, December 13, 2012