Mike Fiers pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Aramis Ramirez had a go-ahead three-run double in the seventh and the Milwaukee Brewers held on to win their fourth consecutive game, 6-5 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Fiers (7-6) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts. The rookie allowed three runs on five hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Ramirez went 2 for 4 and scored two runs. He cleared the bases with a two-out double to right-center in the seventh, breaking a 2-2 tie. Ramirez then scored on a Corey Hart single.
The Pirates rallied for two runs in the ninth off of closer John Axford, but Kameron Loe struck out pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez to with two men on to end the game. Loe’s save was his second in two weeks, the fourth of his career.
Rod Barajas homered for the floundering Pirates, who have lost four in a row and continue to sink in the NL playoff race.
The Brewers won on the road for only the second time since the All-Star break. They had lost 14 of their previous 15 road games.
Jim Henderson got the final out of the seventh and Francisco Rodriguez worked a perfect eighth, but Axford failed in his attempt to earn a save for the third consecutive Brewers game.
Axford walked Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones before Neil Walker’s RBI single. After Axford struck out Pedro Alvarez and Jeff Clement, pinch hitter Michael McKendry’s single scored Jones. That caused Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke to summon Loe.
Hart went 3 for 4.
Rodriguez (8-13) fell to 0-4 as a starter with the Pirates — he earned a win by pitching the 18th and 19th innings Sunday in St. Louis — since being acquired for three prospects in a trade with Houston July 24.
Rodriguez allowed three runs on six hits and four walks in 6 2-3 innings. He had three strikeouts.
Barajas’ hit his ninth home run with nobody on in the seventh, chasing Fiers from the game. Barajas went 2 for 3 and has four hits over his past two starts.
Notes: MVP candidate McCutchen was slow to get up and was attended to by a trainer for several minutes after sliding into the wall in right-center making a running effort to catch Ramirez’s double. McCutchen remained in the game. ... Earlier Friday, the Pirates selected the contract of first baseman Clement from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned INF Yamaico Navarro to the minors. Clement’s appearance was his first in the majors since Aug. 20, 2010. ... Also Friday, Pittsburgh claimed LHP Hisanori Takahashi off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. A corresponding roster move will be made when Takahashi reports to the team. ... The Brewers activated RHP Shaun Marcum from the disabled list Friday. He will make his first start since June 14 on Saturday. RHP Jeff Karstens is scheduled to start for the Pirates. Karstens is 0-5 in his career against Milwaukee.