PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Scott Podsednik hadn't homered in nearly three
months, so he certainly wasn't looking to go deep even with the
Milwaukee Brewers down by a run in the ninth inning.
That didn't prevent Podsednik from hitting a go-ahead three-run
shot -- his fourth hit of the game -- as the Brewers took advantage
of Pittsburgh's trade-depleted bullpen to beat the Pirates 6-4
Saturday."Hitting a home run was the last thing on my mind," Podsednik
said. "If I hit one, it's an accident."It's no accident when the Pirates' bullpen fails to hold a lead.Pittsburgh led 4-3 on Reggie Sanders' solo homer in the seventh,
but a bullpen that has struggled since the team traded former
closer Mike Williams and top setup man Scott Sauerbeck last month
again couldn't finish off a potential victory.With Mike Lincoln on to start the ninth, third baseman Jose
Hernandez misplayed pinch-hitter Eric Young's grounder, and
pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick walked with one out.Joe Beimel, 0-for-5 in save opportunities, came on to try to get
the final two outs for his first save, but Podsednik hit an 0-1
pitch into the seats in right-center for his fourth homer and first
since May 19 against San Diego.It also was his first against a left-hander this season. He went
4-for-5 with a double and four RBI."He's a little guy and usually you can get those guys out
pitching up in the strike zone," Beimel said. "What hurt me was I
left it over the plate. I wanted to go outside on him -- down and in
usually is the strength of every left-handed hitter -- but I didn't
get it far enough outside."The Pirates have been unable to find a replacement for Williams
since dealing him nearly a month ago; Lincoln (1-3) has blown three
saves in eight opportunities, Beimel is 0-for-5 and Brian
Boehringer is 0-for-2."It never feels good giving up the winning run," said Beimel,
who usually pitches in the middle to late innings and not the
ninth. "All I can do is go home, drink a beer, watch the Steelers
and try to forget about it."The Brewers have been a forgettable team most of the season, but
Podsednik is making a push for the Rookie of the Year Award with a
.305 average, four homers, 32 RBI and 25 stolen bases."I try not to think about it," he said. "You can't get caught
up in individual awards."The Brewers avoided their 10th loss in 14 games with the
comeback in the ninth -- their sixth victory in the 67 games they've
trailed after eight innings.Luis Vizcaino (3-3) got the victory by pitching a scoreless
eighth, and Danny Kolb worked the ninth for his eighth save in
eight opportunities.Kolb retired pinch-hitter Matt Stairs with the bases loaded to
end it after walking two batters and giving up Jason Kendall's
single. Before Saturday, Kolb had walked only nine in 25 innings."When you're throwing 97-98 mph, you can make a few mistakes,"
Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He was rushing it up there pretty
good."Milwaukee starter Doug Davis limited the Pirates to two runs and
six hits over six innings in his NL debut, but Pittsburgh scored
twice in the seventh against reliever Valerio De Los Santos after
singles by Tike Redman and Kendall.Brian Giles hit into a run-scoring double play ahead of Sanders'
team-high 26th homer and 10th in 21 games. He has 11 multihit games
during that span with 23 RBI.Sanders was rumored in deals just before the July 31 non-waiver
trade deadline, but stayed in Pittsburgh -- even though former
teammates Kenny Lofton, Aramis Ramirez and Jeff Suppan were dealt.With Giles not hitting for power the way he did in previous
seasons following a knee injury -- he has 15 homers, fewer than half
as many as he had each of the last four seasons -- Sanders has
largely carried the Pirates' offense since the All-Star break.Sanders also doubled in the sixth but was stranded when
Hernandez flied out with runners on second and third.Pirates starter Kip Wells gave up eight hits and three runs over
seven innings.The Brewers opened a 2-0 lead -- the Pirates' opponent has scored
first in seven of their last eight games -- on run-scoring singles
by Royce Clayton in the second and Geoff Jenkins in the third.
Hernandez's 13th homer, a two-run drive, tied it in the fourth.
Clayton walked, stole second and scored on Podsednik's
double in the seventh to briefly put Milwaukee up 3-2. ... The
Pirates lost their fourth in six games. ... The Brewers are Davis'
third team this season. He started with Texas, then went to
Toronto, where he was 4-6 in 11 starts.