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Date of game: 9/18/2014

Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Boston

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Gerrit Cole worked into the eighth inning and Starling Marte homered as Pittsburgh edged Boston, 3-2, in the finale of a three-game interleague set.

Ike Davis and Chris Stewart also knocked in a run each for the Pirates, who swept the series and maintained a healthy lead over Milwaukee for the NL's second wild card spot.

"I think sometimes you're just meant to win games," said Bucs manager Clint Hurdle as his team came away victorious for the seventh time in their last eight.

Cole (10-5) gave up six hits and two runs while striking out seven, Tony Watson completed the eighth and Mark Melancon turned in a scoreless ninth to notch his 30th save.

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts drove in a run apiece for the Red Sox, who struggled after taking three of four on the road against playoff-hopeful Kansas City.

Brandon Workman (1-10) lasted five full frames and was charged with seven hits and three runs -- two earned -- along with three walks.

In the ninth, Melancon plunked Allen Craig and his pinch-runner Jemile Weeks stole second before going to third on a Daniel Nava base hit. Will Middlebrooks then hit a high chopper near third, which made contact with Weeks as he scrambled back to the base for the first out.

"Perfect. It played out perfect," said Melancon of the lucky liner. "I haven't seen the replay but to me it was pretty obvious it was a fair ball, hit him, he's out."

Weeks, for his part, tried to rely on instinct to avoid trouble.

"My natural instinct was to do what I was told and get back on a slow chopper," he said. "I tried to get back as fast as I could. I didn't think it was going to come right on top of me like that, but it did. Just a crazy play. It's my luck."

Jackie Bradley fanned looking and Christian Vazquez grounded to second for the final out.

The Pirates collected two singles and two walks in the bottom of the first, with the final base on balls issued to Davis with two down and the bases loaded to force in Travis Snider for the game's initial run.

Vazquez singled with one down in the third, was sacrificed to second and scored on a Betts base hit to tie the game. Pittsburgh responded in the home fourth as Davis singled, moved to third on a Jordy Mercer double and scored on a Stewart hit.

Marte's solo shot into the seats in left-center during the fifth extended the Bucs' edge to 3-1.

Vazquez began the Boston eighth with a single, went to third on a base hit then scored when Bogaerts lifted a fly to center.

Game Notes

Cole threw 98 pitches, 66 for strikes, and breezed through the first two innings with just 17 pitches and 13 of those for strikes ... Pittsburgh has won five of its last six games against Boston, all at PNC Park, since 2011 ... Both clubs are in action Friday, as the Pirates welcome the Brewers for the first of three and the Red Sox head to Baltimore for a three-game set.

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