PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers are playing their best baseball of the season. Now Aramis Ramirez is hoping they have enough time to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Rickie Weeks hit a tying two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on Ramirez's single, helping Milwaukee rally for a 9-7 victory over the sliding Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
The Brewers have won five straight, eight of nine and 15 of 19 to climb into the playoff race. They remained 2½ games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card slot.
"We're doing everything right, right now," Ramirez said. "I played on a couple of really good teams in Chicago (with the Cubs) but we started off the season really well. We've kind of made a late push here. Hopefully, it's not too late."
Milwaukee had quite the closing push on Thursday. It trailed 7-4 before rallying for four runs in the eighth inning.
Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura opened the inning with consecutive singles off Chad Qualls. Norichika Aoki doubled in a run with one out and Weeks greeted Chris Resop (1-4) with a triple to the 410-foot mark in left-center.
"I was thinking extra-base hit because not only would that score a run there but it would give Rickie a chance to tie the game up in the next at-bat," Aoki said.
Which is exactly what Weeks did.
"Rickie's hit was huge," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "That was a great at-bat, a big hit off a breaking ball."
Ryan Braun was intentionally walked before Ramirez bounced a single into center field to give Milwaukee an 8-7 lead. The Brewers then added a run in the ninth on pinch-hitter Logan Schafer's single.
Ramirez had three hits and three RBIs for Milwaukee, which built an early 4-0 lead. Gomez also had three hits and Aoki extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
"We did so many good things offensively," Roenicke said. "Guys are running well, they're moving runners, they're doing a lot of things to help us. When a team rolls, it's not just one or two guys that are doing it."
The stumbling Pirates (74-75) have dropped three straight and 11 of 13 to slip under .500 for the first time since May 29. They are 5½ games behind the Cardinals and are in danger of a 20th straight losing season, which would extend their major North American professional sports record.
The Pirates were a season-high 16 games over .500 on Aug. 8 at 63-47 but have lost 28 of 39 games since.