Pirates 9, Dodgers 5

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Craig Wilson hit a pair of two-run homers, including a go-ahead drive in the seventh inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for a 9-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

The Pirates rallied from three runs down against the Dodgers for the second night in a row – they won 7-6 Tuesday – and did it again with home runs. They have eight homers in two games, four in each game, and 17 in 10 games after ranking only 12th in the NL with 139 homers last season.

Freddy Sanchez, playing because third baseman Joe Randa had soreness in his abdomen, hit a solo homer in the fourth and Jack Wilson and Craig Wilson each hit two-run shots against Brett Tomko in a four-run fifth that temporarily put the Pirates up 5-3.

Craig Wilson, starting because first baseman Sean Casey sat out the last two nights with a bruised rib cage, then followed Jason Bay’s leadoff walk in the seventh with a drive into the right-field seats off Hong-Chih Kuo (0-1) to make it 7-5.

Craig Wilson led the Pirates with 29 homers in 2004, but missed two long stretches of last season with hand injuries and finished with only five homers in 197 at-bats. He began this season on the bench after the Pirates added Casey and right fielder Jeromy Burnitz, but has homered in four of his 19 at-bats this season – including his 12th career pinch-hit homer.

Salomon Torres (2-1) allowed three consecutive singles in the seventh, but got Jason Repko to hit into an inning-ending double play to pick up the victory for the second night in a row. He worked two scoreless innings Tuesday.

After Roberto Hernandez followed with a scoreless eighth inning, Matt Capps finished up in the ninth.

As usual, the Dodgers scored in the first inning – they have 19 runs in the first inning and 31 in the other eighth innings – and, as usual, they had trouble holding a lead. They are 4-5 despite repeatedly handing their starting pitcher an early lead.

This time, Jose Cruz Jr. hit a solo homer in the first and Jeff Kent and Olmedo Saenz had run-scoring singles during a two-run third that made it 3-0 against Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm. Maholm was lifted after giving up five runs in 5 2-3 innings and has a 7.71 ERA in his two starts.

Los Angeles answered the Pirates’ four runs in the fifth by tying it at 5 in the sixth on Cody Ross’ pinch-hit RBI double and Rafael Furcal’s two-out single – the Dodgers’ sixth hit of the game against Maholm with two outs. But, as it did Tuesday, the Pirates’ bullpen shut down Los Angeles in the closing innings.

Notes: The Pirates’ starting pitchers have a 6.88 ERA through 10 games. … Craig Wilson is 5-for-11 with three homers against Tomko. … Jack Wilson also had a sacrifice fly in a two-run eighth, giving him nine RBIs in five games. He had 52 RBIs last season. … Kent’s RBI in the third was his first since he had four RBIs on opening day against the Braves. … The Dodgers had four consecutive two-out singles by Cruz, J.D. Drew, Kent and Saenz to score twice in the third. … The Pirates’ four homers matched a PNC Park high, now accomplished six times since the ballpark opened in 2001.

AP-ES-04-12-06 2200EDT

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