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Brewers extend streak over Bucs to 14

Brewers extend streak over Bucs

MILWAUKEE -- A little thing like a four-run deficit didn't stop the Brewers from continuing their run of dominance over the Pirates.

Bill Hall and Rickie Weeks homered in a three-run sixth inning and four Brewers relievers, including newcomer Trevor Hoffman, pitched a scoreless inning apiece as Milwaukee came from behind for a 6-5 win at Miller Park on Tuesday. Hoffman worked a scoreless ninth inning for his first Brewers save, and helped extend a couple of streaks that began long before he arrived.

The Brewers have won 14 games in a row over the Pirates since early last season, the longest active winning streak for one Major League team over another. They have 17 in a row over the Pirates at Miller Park since early 2007, baseball's longest active home winning streak.

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"It's just one of those things where they can't win against us, I guess," said Weeks, whose two-run homer was the difference in the game. "But they're going to come out [Wednesday] and play hard, of course, I'm sure they want to get a win, too."

Ryan Braun and Weeks drove in two runs apiece and Weeks delivered the go-ahead run for the second consecutive night when he lined a pitch from Pirates reliever Jesse Chavez (0-1). Weeks' fifth homer came three batters after Hall led off the inning with a solo shot against Pirates starter Paul Maholm, and it made a winner of Brewers reliever Jorge Julio (1-0), who worked a scoreless sixth inning after several days of work with pitching coach Bill Castro.

Julio didn't allow a baserunner in the sixth, and neither did left-hander Mitch Stetter in the seventh or setup man Todd Coffey in the eighth. Hoffman surrendered a single leading off the ninth inning, but he struck out Nyjer Morgan and induced a Freddy Sanchez double play for his first Brewers save and the 555th of his career.

"It's nice to be able to go down the line like we all did and secure a victory," Hoffman said.

The offense did its part, even after leaving the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings.

"I don't think there's much quit in this club," Hoffman said.

They needed a comeback after Brewers starter Dave Bush fell into a 5-1 deficit. Working five days after he took a no-hitter into the bottom of the eighth inning in Philadelphia and threw 113 pitches, Bush surrendered five runs, four earned, on six hits in five innings. A pair of Wisconsin natives burned him with two-run doubles -- Menasha's Eric Hinske in the third inning and Racine's Jason Jaramillo in the fifth.

Jaramillo's clutch hit came after Bush brushed both Hinske and Andy LaRoche with pitches. Even though neither offering caught more than the players' jersey -- it actually un-tucked LaRoche's -- the hit batsmen raised eyebrows and prompted plate umpire Wally Bell to warn both benches. The high alert was a result of Monday's series opener, in which Braun was hit in the back by a Jeff Karstens pitch.

Whether Bush was sending a message back to the Pirates will have to remain a matter of debate.

"I hit a lot of guys," said Bush, who leads the Majors with five hit batsmen this season, all in his last two starts. He hit 10 batters last season.

"I hit two guys last week in the middle of trying to throw a no-hitter, so that's part of it," Bush said. "I pitch inside a lot. Days where I'm having trouble controlling the fastball, it's going to get away from me."

He wasn't surprised by Bell's warning.

"I know that's part of what umpires have to do nowadays, issue warnings," Bush said. "Like I said, it happens. I'm going to hit guys all year round. It's part of the way I pitch aggressively inside."

Braun's postgame take on the matter?

"It's done, over with," he said.

Braun has hit safely in seven of eight games but he didn't homer on Tuesday, leaving him tied with Mike Cameron and Weeks atop the Brewers' home run leaderboard, with five. Weeks went 2-for-5 and even made loud outs, including a line drive in the eighth inning that was snagged by Pirates left fielder Brandon Moss.

Weeks has hit safely in six straight games, boosting his batting average to .268 and his on-base percentage to .318. There is room for improvement in both areas.

"I worked on my swing all offseason," Weeks said, "trying to get back to my old swing, watching some video from my rookie year. When you get injured, you try to find your old swing."

He was referring to hand and wrist injuries suffered in 2005 and '06. Weeks relies on his tremendous hand speed, and it has taken some time to get back in sync.

"He hit four balls hard, scorched them," manager Ken Macha said.

The Brewers will try to finish a three-game sweep of the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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