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Brewers brawl, beat Bucs

RYAN BRAUN homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.

RYAN BRAUN homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.

Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention yesterday in the Brewers' 3-2 victory over the host Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez, Pirates outfielder Travis Snider and Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron were ejected after a shouting match quickly escalated into a punch-filled brawl in the third inning.

"I'm not apologetic for anything that I did today," Gomez said. "I was just doing my job."

The problems started when Gomez paused at the plate and flipped his bat to watch his two-out drive off Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. Gomez said he thought the ball would be caught. Instead, it hit the wall and he sped into third base, making a headfirst slide for a triple.

Cole, who was near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez and they exchanged words.

Cole said he told Gomez: "If you're going to hit it out of the ballpark, then you can stop and look at it. But it you're going to hit just a fly ball to centerfield, then don't stand and look at it."'

That didn't sit well with Gomez. He took a couple steps toward Cole and the benches and bullpens emptied.

"Everything had stopped," Gomez said. "He told me something, I told him back, then I talked to the umpire. Then Snider came like a superhero, trying to throw punches at everybody. I just tried to protect myself."

Milwaukee's Martin Maldonado came from the dugout and threw a punch that knocked off Snider's hat.

"We're a family," said Maldonado, who expects to be suspended. "I see two guys over Gomez, so I tried to protect him."

Snider, who wasn't in the game, and Gomez shoved each other, and the Brewers star fell to the ground.

Pirates catcher Russell Martin called Maldonado's swing a "sucker punch" and had to be restrained by teammate Gaby Sanchez as he walked off the field.

Last September, Gomez was in the middle of a bench-clearing brawl after arguing with Atlanta pitcher Paul Maholm while rounding the bases after homering.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said he fears Gomez could develop a reputation as a guy who starts conflicts. But he said he found little fault in the way Gomez initially handled Cole's challenge.

"[Cole is] the one that started it all," Roenicke said. "If you start it, we're going to respond. Gomey's not going to sit there and not say anything."

Gomez said he planned to appeal any suspension.

The Brewers won their third in a row. Pittsburgh has lost three in a row and five of six.

In other NL games

* At Los Angeles, Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer and threw out a runner at second base, leading the Dodgers over the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1. Puig flipped his bat after connecting to cap a four-run sixth inning. His second homer of the season came after a two-out intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez.

Dodgers starter Josh Beckett pitched five innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven and walking two.

In other Dodgers news, ace Clayton Kershaw pitched a simulated game that was the next step in his recovery from a strained muscle in his upper back. "Everything felt good, so that's a good step," the two-time Cy Young Award winner said following a 30-minute workout that was preceded by a brief bullpen session.

* At Washington, Denard Span hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and the Nationals, with Bryce Harper back in the lineup after being benched for not hustling, rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2. The Nationals split the four-game series. They had lost eight of the previous nine meetings with the Cardinals going into the series wrapup.

* At San Diego, Buster Posey hit a two-run home run and Tim Lincecum (1-1) earned his first victory of the season for the San Francisco Giants, who had only three hits in beating the Padres, 4-3, to snap a three-game losing streak. Padres pitchers retired 23 of the final 24 batters and the Giants didn't get a hit after the second inning.

* At Chicago, Homer Bailey (1-1) pitched six scoreless innings at friendly Wrigley Field for his first win of the season and Jay Bruce homered and doubled as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cubs, 8-2. Zack Cozart hit a two-run homer for Cincinnati, which took two of three this weekend from the Cubs and has won 17 of its last 19 games at Wrigley.

* At New York, slumping newcomer Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly in the 14th inning and the Mets outlasted the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, to prevent a three-game sweep. David Wright had four hits and New York took advantage of three early errors by Atlanta, which had won seven of eight. Before lofting the sac fly, Granderson was hitless in his last 16 at-bats, including 0-for-6 yesterday, and stuck in a 4-for-44 slide that's dropped his average to .127.

In AL games

* At Boston, Dustin Pedroia scored from third on leftfielder David Lough's throwing error with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting the Red Sox to a 6-5, comback win over Baltimore Orioles. Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who overcame a 5-0 deficit and improved to 4-5 in Fenway Park, where they went 53-28 last season.

Boston can take three of four when the series concludes with this morning's traditional 11 o'clock Patriots' Day start.

* At St. Petersburg, Fla., Dean Anna drew a bases-loaded walk on a full-count pitch with two outs in the 12th inning and Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run single as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-1.

* At Oakland, Josh Donaldson homered and doubled twice to back another solid start by Jesse Chavez (1-0), and the Athletics beat the Houston Astros, 4-1, to complete a series sweep.

The A's have won 11 of 13.

* At Arlington, Texas, Jose Abreu and Jordan Danks each had two-run homers, Erik Johnson (1-1) combined with three relievers on a two-hitter and the Chicago White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak with a 16-2 victory over the Texas Rangers, who had won five in a row.

* At Detroit, Rick Porcello (2-1) pitched seven sharp innings, and the Tigers took advantage of four Los Angeles errors in a 2-1 victory over the Angels. Three of those errors came on one play in the first inning, allowing Detroit's Ian Kinsler to score from first on a walk. Then in the sixth, Angels catcher Hank Conger threw wildly to first trying to pick off Austin Jackson. Jackson went to second and Nick Castellanos followed with an RBI single to put Detroit ahead, 2-1.

* At Kansas City, Phil Hughes ended a personal losing streak that dated to last July 2, pitching into the seventh inning and helping the Twins top the Kansas City Royals, 8-3, to avoid a three-game sweep. Hughes (1-1), who signed a $24 million, 3-year deal in December, won for the first time in 17 appearances.

* At Cleveland, David Murphy hit a three-run double in the sixth inning and John Axford worked out of bases-loaded jam in the ninth, lifting the Indians to a 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays to avoid a series sweep.

In an interleague game

* At Miami, Adeiny Hechavarria hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning after an instant replay went in Miami's favor and the Marlins beat the Seattle Mariners, 3-2, to complete a three-game sweep. Mike Dunn (1-2) earned the win in relief and Steve Cishek pitched the ninth for his third save of the season and 32nd in a row.