PITTSBURGH (AP) -- That Brian Giles trade is looking more
one-sided every day. The surprise is it's now favoring the
Pittsburgh Pirates, thanks to the rapid development of rookies
Jason Bay and Oliver Perez.
Bay had an eight-RBI game for the second time in less than a
year and the Pirates ran their winning streak to seven by beating
the Milwaukee Brewers 13-2 Friday night for a doubleheader sweep.
Tony Alvarez's grand slam supported another strong start by
Perez in the opener, an 8-1 Pirates victory that came after
Milwaukee had won five in a row to close within 3½ games of the NL
Central lead. The Pirates are on their best spurt since winning
eight in a row from Sept. 1-8, 2000.
Bay, acquired with Perez in the Giles trade with San Diego
slightly less than a year ago, had three two-run doubles and a
two-run homer, matching the eight RBI he had Sept. 19 against the
"Obviously, I thought that would be safe for a while," Bay
said. "I didn't think I'd drive in eight again. I'd be lying if I
said I didn't think about it (his last time up), but I was six or
seven batters away when the inning started, and I didn't even know
if I'd get up."
Manager Lloyd McClendon said, "I never thought I'd see that
again, but he had eight again. It's pretty impressive. It's pretty
Bay's big night included a disputed homer off Jeff Bennett in
the seventh. Bay's drive bounced a fan's hands in the first row of
the bleacher seats, and left fielder Geoff Jenkins immediately
sought an interference call. The umpires huddled briefly before
signaling home run.
After the game, Milkwaukee manager Ned Yost said, "I think they
got it right. ... If the ball is in the park, it's fan
interference, but if it's over the fence -- and Jenks went over the
fence -- then it's a home run."
Bay had nine RBI in the doubleheader and is making a push for
the NL rookie of the year award with a .299 average, 10 homers and
34 RBI despite missing the first month of the season after
shoulder surgery. His production isn't that far off what Giles is
giving the Padres.
"I'm not trying to replace anybody," Bay said. "I'm not
trying to match Brian Giles number for number. I'm just trying to
do what I can do, and it's nice to see Oliver doing well, too."
Pirates starter Josh Fogg (6-6) won for the sixth time in eight
decisions since an 0-4 start, taking a 6-0 lead into the seventh
before leaving after Jenkins' 11th homer.
In the opener, Jack Wilson hit a two-run inside-the-park homer
that was the first at PNC Park since it opened in 2001 and also
doubled, giving him an NL-leading 110 hits.
It was the second time this week Wilson circled the bases on an
odd play at Pittsburgh, where he turned an apparent double into the
game-winning run to beat St. Louis 2-1 Monday. Wilson kept running
when he briefly saw second base uncovered and wound up scoring as
the Cardinals threw the ball away on what was ruled a triple.
Perez (4-4, 3.22 ERA) struck out 11 in seven innings to outpitch
Doug Davis (8-6), who had won four in a row and five of six. Perez
developed a blister on his left index finger during the third
inning, but held the Brewers to five hits over seven innings.
Perez followed up a 13-strikeout outing in what became a 1-0
Pirates victory Saturday over Cincinnati with his ninth career
double-digit strikeout game and fourth this season. He leads NL
starting pitchers with an average of 10.9 strikeouts per nine
"He gets it, he really gets it," McClendon said. "He's up
there with the big boys now."
Doug Davis was coming off a 5-1 June record, but got himself in
trouble by walking five -- three in a five-run Pirates third in
which all the runs were driven in by J.J. Davis and Alvarez, who
had a combined two RBI this season.
Alvarez homered into the Brewers' bullpen in center to put
Pittsburgh up 5-0 -- his first homer since his first career shot,
Sept. 29, 2002, at Wrigley Field.
"The ball was right in his nitro zone and he hit it out," Doug Davis said.
Bay is the only Pirates player since Ralph Kiner in 1950 to
have an eight-RBI game and the only rookie in the majors with one
since Anaheim's Adam Kennedy on April 18, 2000. ... The Pirates
have won eight of 10 since dropping 12 of 14. ... Pirates starting
pitchers have a 2.32 ERA over 66 innings in 10 games. ... Milwaukee
is 1-6 against Pittsburgh. ... The Pirates were 3-12 against
left-handed starting pitchers before beating Davis. ... The
Pirates' record is nine RBI by Johnny Rizzo against St. Louis on
May 30, 1939. ... Pittsburgh also swept the Cubs on May 28.