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Bucs' big inning ignites confidence in lineup

Pirates have taken first two games of series from first-place Brewers
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Andrew McCutchen's historical hitting success at Miller Park spread through the rest of the Pirates' lineup on Tuesday.

The Pirates scored six runs on six consecutive hits off Brewers starter Zach Davies, including McCutchen's two-run single, in the first inning of their 7-3 win over the first-place Brewers. It was their biggest opening inning in over a year.

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MILWAUKEE -- Andrew McCutchen's historical hitting success at Miller Park spread through the rest of the Pirates' lineup on Tuesday.

The Pirates scored six runs on six consecutive hits off Brewers starter Zach Davies, including McCutchen's two-run single, in the first inning of their 7-3 win over the first-place Brewers. It was their biggest opening inning in over a year.

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"We're playing good ball against the first-place team in our division, and it just shows that we're capable of doing it, and we just have to remain consistent with it and push forward," McCutchen said. "There's no surprises here."

Pirates infielder Josh Harrison started the merry-go-round when he was hit by a pitch for the 13th time this season, which was followed by three consecutive singles from Gregory Polanco, David Freese and Elias Diaz for a 1-0 lead. With the bases loaded, McCutchen hit a two-run single to left field, which extended his hitting streak at Miller Park to 10 games. Jose Osuna capped the big inning with a three-run homer.

Video: PIT@MIL: Freese plates a run with an infield single

It was the start of a 3-for-3, three-RBI night for McCutchen, who homered in the third to extend the lead. He collected three RBIs in consecutive games for the first time in his career and has homered 19 times at Miller Park, his highest total away from PNC Park.

"It's Cutch," Harrison said. "People make a big deal out of it because of what's happened in the past, but he's still Cutch to me. He's still Cutch to us. It's nothing new to us. Baseball is a humbling game. Even the greatest guys go through struggles. It's good to see a guy like that. He stayed the course a couple of times. Never made excuses and knew what he was capable of doing."

Video: PIT@MIL: McCutchen laces a two-run single to left

Prior to Tuesday's start, Davies had not allowed six earned runs in an outing since his first start of the season on April 3.

"I should be ready from pitch one. I'm kind of over the mechanical, the sequencing, all those kind of excuses. I think it's just time to go out and compete," Davies said.

The last time the Pirates scored six or more runs in the first inning was on May 17, 2016, when they scored seven against the Braves at PNC Park. The last time they accomplished the same feat on the road? A 10-5 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Aug. 13, 2015.

"It's exciting," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've all played enough games to know this game, even though we scored six, they were never out of the game. Especially with that club up there, there was multiple opportunities for three-run homers to put them back close. It's just fun. Guys work hard. You love to see the results. You love to see people get on base and make things happen. Everybody contributed in the first."

Video: PIT@MIL: Osuna hammers a three-run homer to left

The six runs the Brewers allowed in the first inning were the most allowed by the Crew in the opening frame at home since September 3, 2008, when the Mets scored six.

The Pirates have won eight of their last nine games played in Milwaukee and can win their third straight series at Miller Park dating back to the second half of last season with a win in either of the series' final two games.

"Teams in your division, you know what you expect. You know what you're going to get," McCutchen said. "You know they're out to try and beat you. It's hard-nosed baseball. This is the only way you're going to win the division. You've got to beat the teams in your division. We're just inching closer and hopefully we can continue that."

Carson Mason is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Pirates on Tuesday.

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