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Braun clutch again: Late 2-run 2B beats Bucs

Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun made the most out of his day of limited duty.

Braun, held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with an ailing right calf, delivered a two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning to lift the Brewers to a 5-3 victory over the Pirates on Saturday at Miller Park.

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MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun made the most out of his day of limited duty.

Braun, held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with an ailing right calf, delivered a two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning to lift the Brewers to a 5-3 victory over the Pirates on Saturday at Miller Park.

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"As a player, those are the situations you hope to have an opportunity to impact the game in, and fortunately, I was able to come through tonight," Braun said.

Braun struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, but he remained in the game at first base in a double switch. Domingo Santana doubled to open the eighth and Eric Sogard, who entered Saturday hitting. 107, drew a two-out walk, his third of the game.

Braun then drove a 2-2 pitch into the left-center-field gap to score both.

"Sogard had a very nice day at the plate, walked a few times to give me an opportunity there," Braun said. "Domingo had a big double for us; he's been swinging the bat well the last few days. Obviously, just to get an opportunity there was the result of guys having quality at-bats and guys getting on base."

It was Braun's fifth game-winning hit of the season. He is 7-for-10 with three homers and 13 RBIs with runners in scoring position and two outs this season.

The Brewers seemed in position to wrap it up when Josh Hader came in to protect a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning. Hader, who recorded all eight outs via strikeout for a 2 2/3-inning save in his last appearance, struck out pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez to open the inning, but Gregory Polanco walked and Marte then drove a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall for his fifth home run of the season. Hader then finished the inning by fanning Josh Bell and Corey Dickerson.

Video: PIT@MIL: Hader fans Dickerson to retire the side

After Braun's big hit, Hader tosses a 1-2-3 ninth for the victory.

"That's the important point right there," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "At that point, there's one out and it's a tie game, and he got the next five guys out. The game is not over at that point, and he came back and got five outs. Struck out the next two guys. He's going to give up runs, and to respond like that is exactly what you want."

Video: PIT@MIL: Arcia lays out for great catch to end game

The Brewers got early offense from Hernan Perez, who entered the game 5-for-13 with three home runs against Pirates starter Jameson Taillon. He delivered an RBI double in the fourth off Taillon to put Milwaukee on the board. In the seventh inning, Christian Yelich gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead with an RBI single, and Lorenzo Cain scored on a passed ball to extend the lead to two entering the eighth.

Video: PIT@MIL: Yelich lines go-ahead single into LF in 7th

Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin allowed just one hit through five innings before the Pirates tied it in the sixth on Marte's sacrifice fly. Chacin finished with four strikeouts, allowing one run on three hits and two walks.

"I thought he was outstanding," Counsell said. "He threw some nasty sliders tonight. He got some strikeouts and then some bad swings on the slider. He got into the sixth inning really well. Two leadoff hits and then did a nice job getting the next couple guys. I thought it was his best start."

Video: PIT@MIL: Chacin fans Cervelli to retire the side

TOO SHALLOW TO SCORE
Cain tests Frazier: The Brewers wasted a scoring opportunity in the third when Cain singled with one out and advanced to third on Yelich's single. Jesus Aguilar popped out to second baseman Adam Frazier in shallow right field. Cain tried to score with Frazier moving away from the plate as he caught the ball, but the throw got home ahead of Cain, who was tagged out by Francisco Cervelli.

"To me that's a 50-50 play and they made a nice play," Counsell said. "We'll take that."

Video: PIT@MIL: Frazier cuts down Cain at home to turn two

SOUND SMART
Hader had a streak of 14 consecutive outs via strikeout snapped when Elias Diaz popped out to second for the second out of the ninth inning.

Video: PIT@MIL: Counsell on the offense rallying, Josh Hader

UP NEXT
Right-hander Chase Anderson (3-2, 3.38 ERA) will start the series finale Sunday afternoon at Miller Park. He is 6-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 11 career starts against the Pirates, including 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA in three starts last season. Anderson has given up eight home runs in 40 innings this season, compared to 14 in 141 1/3 frames last season. In 2016, he was tagged for 28 homers in 151 2/3 innings. Chad Kuhl will start for Pittsburgh.

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Braun