Doumit, Cedeno help Pirates end Milwaukee skid, beat Hoffman, Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- The Pittsburgh Pirates finally found a way to win in Milwaukee.

Ryan Doumit hit a grand slam and Ronny Cedeno had a solo homer off Trevor Hoffman in a five-run ninth inning to help the Pirates snap a 22-game losing streak in Milwaukee with a 7-3 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday night.

Pirates manger John Russell couldn't have been happier with the huge win.

"That's how you break a streak, against one of the best closers in the league," Russell said after the Pirates won at Miller Park for the first time since May 3, 2007. "We battled and found a way to win it. That's important for these guys right now."

The Pirates held a 30-minute team meeting after Monday night's 17-3 drubbing by the Brewers. That was the team's 22nd straight defeat at Miller Park. The Brewers' home winning streak against Pittsburgh was the longest by one team over another since the Indians beat the St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles 27 consecutive times from 1952-54.

Cedeno's home run was the catalyst that also snapped a seven-game losing streak for Pittsburgh.

He crushed the second pitch from Hoffman (1-2) over the wall in left to tie the game.

After Andrew McCutchen struck out, Andy LaRoche singled for the fourth time and Lastings Milledge doubled. Garrett Jones was walked intentionally before Doumit drove a 2-0 pitch into the second tier of the bleachers for his second career grand slam.

Doumit said that the team just didn't quit, especially after Prince Fielder greeted reliever Javier Lopez with a homer to deep center in the bottom of the eighth to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.

"You can get actually boat raced one day and come back the next day and put a hurtin' on the same team," Doumit said. "This one feels good. We haven't won here in Milwaukee in three years."

Hoffman took full responsibility for this ugly loss.

"I got it handed to me pretty good," he said. "Prior to that, Randy Wolf pitched a great game. He laid everything out there on the line with 100-plus pitches. The team kept us in the ballgame, which was tight. Prince put us up over the top at the end and into a position to win. I wasn't able to hold it."

Home runs have been Hoffman's downfall in all three blown saves. He's now given up five of them with the win on the line. His ERA went from 9.00 to 13.50.

"As a whole we lost the ballgame and there's really nobody you can point a finger to other than myself," Hoffman said.

Brendan Donnelly (2-0) picked up the win when he relieved Lopez with runners at first and second and two outs. Donnelly retired pinch-hitter Jody Gerut to end the threat.

Wolf pitched an effective eight innings when he scattered 10 hits and stranded nine Pirates. He surrendered a run in the second on a double by Doumit and sacrifice fly by Akinori Iwamura and Jeff Clement's third home run of the season, a solo shot in the fourth. Wolf struck out four and walked one.

Pirates starter Jeff Karstens, a non-roster invitee to spring training, continued his comeback with a solid first start of the season.

The 27-year-old right-hander was called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Indianapolis. He was 3-4 with a 5.16 ERA in 13 starts last season before the Pirates removed him from the 40-man roster Nov. 20.

Karstens gave up a run on doubles by Wolf and Craig Counsell in the third but nothing else until George Kottaras hit a game-tying solo shot leading off the seventh. After a walk to Counsell with two outs in the seventh, Karstens gave way to Joel Hanrahan.

"He was a breath of fresh air," Doumit said of Karstens. "Obviously. the last seven days have been pretty trying for us as a team. He was just what the doctor ordered."

Karstens went 6 2/3 innings, walked four and struck out four.

Asked if Karstens will get a start on Sunday in Los Angeles, Russell said, "I don't see any reason why not. The kid deserves to."

The Brewers had outscored the Pirates 53-4 in their first four games against each other.

Game notes
Bob Uecker, who is in his 40th season as the Brewers radio announcer, will have his aortic valve replaced Friday morning. He is expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks while recovering. At the top of the fifth, the fans cheered when the scoreboard video showed Uecker, 75, in the broadcast booth. He tipped his hat to the crowd. ... Pirates outfielder John Raynor was designated for assignment to make room for Karstens. ... Wearing Brewer uniforms, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and right tackle Mark Tauscher swung away during batting practice.