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Pirates beat Brewers; Cardinals gain ground

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-TSN) Pedro Alvarez hit two home runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates routed the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-2, in the middle installment of a three-game series.

Alvarez drove in four runs and scored twice as Pittsburgh handed the Brewers their third straight loss. Russell Martin had a three-run homer and Neil Walker finished with three hits and three RBI. Martin and Walker both scored two runs as well.

"We are not surprised when we have success," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a good team win."

The Cardinals beat the Phillies, 6-5 in extra innings, to clip the Brewers lead in the NL Central to a half-game.

Edinson Volquez (11-7) allowed 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings but limited Milwaukee to just two runs. He outdueled Brewers ace Wily Peralta, who failed to become Major League Baseball's first 16-game winner.

Peralta (15-8) was roughed up, allowing a season-high eight runs -- seven earned -- over five innings. He had won his last four home starts.

"Sometimes you are going to have games like that," said Peralta. "I'm just going to focus on the next one and forget this one."

It was all Milwaukee early on, as Scooter Gennett hit a solo homer in the second inning and Khris Davis made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the third. Meanwhile, Peralta didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning.

Peralta was rolling, but a two-out walk to Walker came back to bite him. Martin followed with a double to put two on for Alvarez, who put the Pirates on top with one swing of the bat.

Gennett's error allowed Travis Snyder to reach in the fifth, and Andrew McCutchen followed with an infield single. Walker doubled in the fourth Pittsburgh run, and Martin and Alvarez slugged back-to-back homers for an 8-2 advantage.

Walker tacked on another run with a two-out single in the sixth, and he capped the scoring with another RBI base knock two innings later.

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