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MILWAUKEE 7, PITTSBURGH 6

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Royce Clayton didn't give the Milwaukee Brewers
a chance to dwell on their ninth-inning meltdown for too long.

Clayton hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth after Leo
Estrella gave up three runs in the top half, and the Brewers beat
the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 Saturday night for their season-high
fifth straight win.

"It showed great determination and desire by our team,"
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "Anytime you take a three-run
lead into the ninth -- and lose it, it's a letdown.

"Our club battled back," he added. "That showed a lot of
character for our team."

With two outs and Milwaukee's Mark Smith at second, the
light-hitting Clayton came to the plate. Pittsburgh brought the
outfield in to stop Smith from scoring on a single.

Clayton then hit a long fly off Mark Corey (0-1) that forced
Brian Giles to race back. The ball bounced off his outstretched
glove for a single, allowing Smith to score.

"I should have caught the ball," Giles said. "I was going
back and I can't give you any excuse. It hit right off my glove."

After Richie Sexson struck out to start the bottom of the ninth,
Corey walked pinch-hitter Smith. Wes Helms singled then Eddie Perez
popped out for the second out. Clayton followed with his single,
but said he initially thought it would be a homer.

"I thought I got enough of it to hit it out, but I'm glad that
whatever happened, happened, and we were able to get the run
across," he said.

Estrella (5-2) earned the victory despite allowing Pittsburgh to
tie in the ninth, keyed by Matt Stairs' two-run homer with two
outs.

Geoff Jenkins went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer, single,
double and an intentional walk and drove in four runs for
Milwaukee, which won five straight for the first time since May
31-June 4, 2002, a span of 229 games.

Scott Podsednik scored three runs for Milwaukee, and Reggie
Sanders had four hits -- two singles and two doubles -- for the
Pirates, who trailed 5-1 after seven innings.

With the score tied at 1 in the fifth, Jenkins hit his 24th
homer off Josh Fogg, scoring starter Wes Obermueller and Podsednik.

Pittsburgh scored three in the ninth to tie it at 6. Tike
Redmond doubled and scored on Giles' one-out single. Stairs hit a
two-run homer with two outs, scoring Sanders, who reached on a
fielder's choice.

Pittsburgh, which has lost three straight and eight of 11, took
a 1-0 lead in the first when Redman singled, moved to second when
Giles was hit by a pitch and scored on Sanders' single.

Milwaukee tied it in the bottom half when Podsednik singled,
stole second and scored on Jenkins' RBI single.

The Brewers made it 5-1 in the seventh on Richie Sexson's
sacrifice fly, scoring Podsednik.

Rob Mackowiak hit his fourth homer, a two-run shot, off reliever
Luis Vizcaino to pull Pittsburgh within 5-3 in the eighth.

Brady Clark's single scored Wes Helms from second to give
Milwaukee a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Obermueller, acquired in the trade that sent reliever Curtis
Leskanic to Kansas City on July 2, went six innings, giving up one
run on eight hits and two walks while striking out two.

Fogg gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk while striking
out two in five innings.

Since the All-Star break, Fogg is 2-3 with a 7.55 ERA in seven
starts.

Game notes
Pittsburgh SS Jack Wilson singled in the eighth to extend
his hitting streak to 11 games, equaling a career high. ... Brewers
RF John Vander Wal returned to the starting lineup Saturday night
after missing four games with an inflamed left elbow. ... RHP Ben
Sheets is slated to start Sunday, despite being removed after one
inning in his last start Tuesday with strained right rotator cuff.
... It was the first time Pittsburgh lost three straight since June
22-24. ... Pittsburgh pitchers have given up 24 homers in their
last 16 games. ... It was the 10th time in Sanders' career that he
had four hits in a game.