PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jose Castillo was on his way to the clubhouse,
celebrating not only a game-winning home run but a streak of six
consecutive games with a homer when a Pirates teammate grabbed him
and pushed him back toward the field.
No home run. No six-game streak. And, at least for a couple of
minutes, no Pirates victory, though it took only one more batter to
clear up the confusion.
Ryan Doumit hit a game-winning single after the umpires took
away Castillo's apparent homer and called both teams back onto the
field, and the Pirates finished off a four-game sweep of the
Milwaukee Brewers with a bizarre 4-3 victory Thursday.
The Pirates trailed 3-2 entering the ninth, but Jeromy Burnitz
doubled off Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow (2-2). One batter later,
Castillo hit a long drive that bounced off the padding atop the
right field wall and was first called a home run.
"It was fun celebrating," Burnitz said. "But once I saw their
guys emphatically running in, I knew there was a chance we might
have to replay it."
After conferring behind second base, the umpires decided
Castillo's drive did not clear the wall and put him back at second
-- after some Pirates had headed to the clubhouse and fireworks were
shot off. Brewers manager Ned Yost argued Castillo stopped at first
and should have been put there, though Castillo was seen running
the bases and touching home following the initial wave of
"My argument was why did he get second base?" Yost said.
"Nobody saw him stop at first."
Castillo felt the ball had left the park and was confused why he
had to go back.
"I don't know why the umpires said no," he said. "I was mad --
but for the Pirates. I'm happy for the team winning every day."
Doumit then worked the count to 3-1 before grounding a ball down
the right-field line, scoring Castillo easily and allowing the
Pirates to celebrate a second time.
"I'm banging Castillo on his head and celebrating and the next
thing I know, they're doing it to me," Doumit said. "It was quite
a rollercoaster ride the last five minutes."
Castillo drove in three runs, adding two sacrifice flies, and
closed out a remarkable series with one of the Pirates' best
defensive plays all season with a sliding catch in right field of
Chad Moeller's popup in the fourth. Castillo went 9-of-13 with four
home runs, two doubles and 14 RBIS in the series.
"It was one of the most impressive series I've seen out of one
guy," Brewers starter Dave Bush said. "Sometimes, guys get hot."
John Grabow (1-1) got the final out of the ninth for the victory
as the Pirates swept a series of three games or longer for the
first time since taking three from the Reds in July 2004. The
Brewers have lost five in a row.
The Pirates, trying to play catchup after losing 33 of their
first 47, outscored Milwaukee 36-8 while sweeping the series. They
had scored 63 runs while winning five of their previous seven,
scoring 12 runs or more three times.
"Yes, it's possible," Burnitz said of the Pirates' attempt to
turn their season around by winning six of seven so far during a
10-game homestand. "Yes, that would definitely be the hope. It's a
definite confidence builder."
Carlos Lee had put Milwaukee ahead 3-2 with his 18th homer, a
solo shot with two outs in the eighth off Roberto Hernandez. That
put Bush in position to get the win after the right-hander, born in
Pittsburgh two weeks after the Pirates last won the World Series in
1979, gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings.
The left-handed Maholm again got little offensive support -- the
Pirates have scored only three runs in his last three losses --
despite limiting Milwaukee to two runs over seven innings.
Bush didn't allow a hit until Burnitz's leadoff double to the
right-field gap in the fifth, immediately after a brief delay for
the grounds crew to fix an advertising panel that came apart along
the first-base line. Castillo followed Freddy Sanchez's single with
the first of his two sacrifice flies.
Castillo's exceptional defensive play stranded Hart at second
and prevented a run from scoring. Moeller's popup looked like it
would fall between Castillo and right fielder Burnitz, but Castillo
managed to catch the bottom half of the ball in his glove while
sliding on his backside. The ball popped out of his glove while he
was sliding but, while still on his back, Castillo regained control
and made the catch.
^Notes:@ Castillo's streak of homering in five consecutive games
ended one short of teammate Jason Bay's six-game streak that ended
Monday. The Pirates hadn't had a player homer for more than four
consecutive games since Dale Long homered in a record eight in a
row in 1956 until Bay and Castillo did so this week. ... Maholm
picked runners off first to end successive innings, catching Hart
(sixth) and Rickie Weeks (seventh). ... The Brewers went 3-7 on a
10-game road trip. ... Lee was 1-for-16 before getting two hits.
... Burnitz stayed in the game despite limping away from home plate
with a sore right knee after sliding in the fifth. ... The Pirates
hadn't won more than four in a row since a 10-game midseason run in