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Vogelsong hadn't started since June 23

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Ryan Vogelsong is starting to make the most of
another chance at the starting rotation.

The Pittsburgh right-hander pitched for the traded Kris Benson
and threw five strong innings to lead the Pirates past the
Milwaukee Brewers 4-1 Saturday night.

Vogelsong (3-7) gave up three hits and one run in his first
start since June 23, when he was sent to the bullpen following a
seven-game losing streak. He struck out four and walked one.

"I like his stuff, and he's got a bright future," Pirates
manager Lloyd McClendon said. "The light is flickering, and we're
trying to get it to stay on."

Benson was traded to the New York Mets on Friday in a
five-player deal in which the Pirates obtained infielders Ty
Wigginton and Jose Bautista and pitcher Matt Peterson. Wigginton
made his first start for Pittsburgh at third base and went 0-for-4.

Vogelsong also doubled in a run in the Pirates' three-run second
inning. He entered with a 6.69 ERA, but had done well out of the
bullpen recently, giving up two runs in seven innings over five
appearances.

Saturday, his fastball hit 96 mph several times, although he was
wild early. Vogelsong threw 23 pitches in the first inning and went
to full counts on the first four batters he faced before retiring
all four. The only run he gave up was Geoff Jenkins' solo homer to
lead off the fourth.

"It was a good start, and I'll take it," Vogelsong said. "My
main concern was being able to go deep into the ballgame. I knew I
had thrown a lot of pitches and really had to bear down and get
some quick outs."

The Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak in which they
were shutout twice. They improved to 9-2 this season against
Milwaukee when Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 32
chances.

Victor Santos (9-6) took the loss, lasting just five innings. He
gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out six in his shortest
outing since June 20. Santos was 7-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts
during June and July. He had surrendered three earned runs in his
last three starts combined, the last two being losses in which he
was back but very little offense.

"He's got to have some run support," Brewers manager Ned Yost
said. "If we score some runs, that 10th win comes."

Pittsburgh scored three times in the second inning with two
outs. Tike Redman singled off Santos' glove, stole second and
scored on Bobby Hill's single. Vogelsong doubled down the
left-field line for his second career RBI and he scored on Jason
Kendall's single.

"It was a ground ball, just down the line," Santos said of
Vogelsong's double. "He could have easily grounded it out to the
shortstop."

The Pirates added an unearned run in the fifth. Kendall reached
on a throwing error by third baseman Wes Helms and scored when
Jason Bay was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Milwaukee has lost 10 of 13 games. In those defeats, the Brewers
have scored 13 runs. Three times in that span, they have been shut
out. Four other times, they have managed just one run.

"I got one," Santos said. "I am not frustrated at all. That's
the way it is. It will turn around. You just have to be patient."

The Pirates' offense had struggled just as much recently.
Pittsburgh went more than 26 innings without an extra-base hit
before Jack Wilson doubled in the first Saturday.

Wilson was 3-for-5 with a single, double and triple.

Game notes
Brewers 1B Lyle Overbay, who entered with a .324 average,
snapped an 0-for-16 streak with a second-inning single. ...
Bautista pinch-hit for Pittsburgh and struck out. ... Before the
game, Pittsburgh released INF Chris Stynes, and recalled RHP Mark
Corey from Triple-A Nashville.