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Bullpen pulls together for Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Doug Davis was relieved in more ways than one.

The lefty thought a line drive had fractured his arm and ended
his season. After X-rays proved otherwise, he watched from the
dugout as the Milwaukee Brewers snapped a 12-game losing streak and
avoided their worst month in franchise history with a 4-2 victory
over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

"It's all over with," Davis said.

His worries and the losing streak, which was two shy of the
franchise futility record.

"Like I told them after the game, 'That's over. Let's move on
to bigger and better things," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.
"It is a big burden that you carry every day. ... You're getting
these sympathy phone calls every day, people telling you, 'Hang in
there, you're all right.'

"So, I'm glad that's over. No more sympathy phone calls."

Geoff Jenkins' two-run double highlighted a four-run first
inning off rookie right-hander John Van Benschoten, and Milwaukee's
beleaguered bullpen turned in a solid performance after Davis was
knocked out in the second inning with a bruised forearm.

The Brewers went 6-21 in August, barely avoiding their worst
month in franchise history (6-22 by the Seattle Pilots in August
1969). Still, it was their worst month since moving to Milwaukee in
1970, displacing the 6-20 mark from July 2001.

Matt Wise (1-1) pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings for his first
win since April 6, 2001, when he was with Anaheim. Pedro Liriano
and Luis Vizcaino each pitched scoreless innings, and Dan Kolb
pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 38 chances.

Davis was hit on his pitching arm by a line drive off Tike
Redman's bat in the second inning and had to leave the game. He
said it was black and blue immediately and the medical staff
thought he had a fracture until X-rays revealed otherwise.

"I'm just glad it was the smallest guy on the team," Davis
said. "And you guys can put that in the paper. I'm friends with
Tike, so that will be all right."

Davis said he was confident he'll miss one start at the most.

Right-hander Dave Burba replaced Davis and surrendered a
run-scoring single to Jose Castillo in the second and an RBI double
to Daryle Ward in the third.

Van Benschoten (0-2) walked his first three batters and allowed
four runs in the first inning of his third career big league start.
Russell Branyan then lined a 3-0 fastball over second base for an
RBI single.

"He missed the (take) sign," Yost said. "The guy's thrown two
strikes up to that point, but it worked out, so it's OK. If he'd
hit into a double play it would have been another matter. But, no,
he didn't have a green light."

Jenkins was on deck when Branyan swung at 3-and-0 and his first
thought was "please get to the outfield," he said.

When it did, Jenkins said it was a sign that the Brewers' luck
might finally be changing.

Jenkins followed with a two-run double and Keith Ginter added a
run-scoring single, his first hit since July 23. He missed more
than a month with a wrist injury.

Van Benschoten allowed four earned runs on five hits in five
innings. He walked six and struck out five.

"He did struggle," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.
"When you walk the first three batters, it's tough. He settled
down and threw the ball pretty darn good after that. He put us
behind the 8-ball early."

Van Benschoten said he settled down after taking a deep breath.

"I'm just thinking too much," he said. "My head is going a
million miles a second. All I needed to do was just slow down. It
was just a quick fix."<

But a tad too late.

Game notes
Davis was also relieved for monetary reasons. He needs to
make four more starts in September to guarantee a $300,000 bonus on
top of his $2,050,000 base salary in 2005. Davis leads the NL with
29 starts and has never missed a start in either the major or minor
leagues. ... Milwaukee CF Scott Podsednik swiped second base in the
first inning, becoming the second Brewer to steal 50 bases in a
season. Pat Listach stole 54 bases en route to winning AL Rookie of
the Year honors in 1992. Podsednik stole his 51st in the second
inning. ... The Brewers' franchise record is 14 straight losses
from May 11-25, 1994. ... Kolb hadn't had a save since Aug. 17
against the Cubs.