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Oneil Cruz’s Homer Helps Pirates Beat Brewers 5-3, Snap Seven-Game Skid

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Pittsburgh Pirates

Thanks in part to the power of Oneil Cruz and the wildness of reigning National League Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ seven-game losing streak is over.

Cruz hit a three-run home run off Burnes to key a five-run sixth inning, and the Pirates rallied against the NL Central-leading Brewers for a 5-3 victory Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park. It was the first Pirates’ first win since July 23.

The Pirates trailed 3-0 going into the sixth, but rookies Bligh Madris and Cal Mitchell drew consecutive one-out walks off Burnes. Cruz, yet another rookie, then hit a 408-foot blast to center field for his seventh home run of the season.

The Pirates added two more runs in the inning to snap the tie as Burnes wound up walking five batters in 5.1 innings.

Josh VanMeter walked, and Burnes was pulled in favor of Brad Boxberger. VanMeter stole second and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Tyler Heineman, who continued to third base on second baseman Kolten Wong’s throwing error. Heineman made it 5-3 when he scored on Victor Caratini’s passed ball.

The five-run inning matched the Pirates’ biggest of the year.

Colin Holderman (5-0) got the win by pitching one scoreless inning in relief in his Pirates’ debut. The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game, 11 days after being acquired from the New York Mets in a trade for designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach.

Holderman became the 57th player to see action for the Pirates this season, the most in the major leagues.

Pirates starter Bryse Wilson carried a three-hit shutout into the sixth inning but then things fell apart. He gave up back-to-back home runs to Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez to start the inning. One out later, Wong went deep to put the Brewers ahead 3-0.

Wilson wound up allowing three runs on six hits in 5.1 innings with two strikeouts and one walk. He is winless in his last four starts.

After the Pirates went ahead 5-3 in the sixth, the Brewers loaded the bases in the seventh. However, Manny Banuelos escaped the jam by striking out pinch hitter Pedro Severino.

Rookie Yerry De Los Santos pitched a scoreless eighth and Wil Crowe then worked a scoreless ninth, allowing a hit but striking out the side, for his third save. Closer David Bednar was unavailable because of a lower-back issue.

The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday with Tyler Beede (1-1, 3.12 ERA) pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates against Freddy Peralta (3-2, 4.42). Thompson has been tagged for seven runs in each of his last two starts after being charged with two runs or less in 10 of his previous 11 outings.

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