MILWAUKEE — This one was for Roberto Clemente. The Hall of Famer’s retired jersey is still the only 21 that matters for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pinch-hitter Travis Snider of Jackson High in Mill Creek homered in the ninth inning to lift Pittsburgh to a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night that clinched the Pirates’ first non-losing record in two decades.
Clemente played right field for Pittsburgh and finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits. He died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while trying to deliver food and relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
“The one family I’m happy for is the Clemente family,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “They told me earlier in the season that we can’t have 21 losing seasons, that we’ve got to find a way to not have Roberto’s number tied to that. I told them we’d find a way to take care of that. It’s been taken care of.”
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It was victory No. 81 for Pittsburgh, ensuring it will not finish with a losing record for the first time since it went 96-66 in 1992. Pittsburgh leads St. Louis by two games in the NL Central.
• Justin Masterson of Cleveland will miss at least one start because of a strained left oblique, another blow to a team struggling to stay in playoff contention. The right-hander could be out the rest of the season. He was pulled from Monday’s game against Baltimore in the second inning because of soreness in his left side and an MRI on Tuesday revealed the injury.
• Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is out of the starting lineup a day after he aggravated a right knee strain.
• Derek Jeter had two hits, giving him 3,315 to move ahead of Eddie Collins (3,313) for ninth on the career list.