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Date of game: 9/21/2014

Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Milwaukee

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - It was Russell Martin again.

Martin stroked an RBI single in the seventh inning to back a strong start by Vance Worley and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 on Sunday to win their key three-game series.

Martin's hit scored Andrew McCutchen and came two days after he hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning of Friday's series opener.

The Pirates took two of three games in the set, extending their lead to 4 1/2 games over Milwaukee for the NL wild card and pulling into a tie with San Francisco for the top wild-card spot.

Pittsburgh cut into the NL Central deficit as well with St. Louis' loss on Sunday, pulling to within 2 1/2 games of the Cardinals for the division lead.

St. Louis clinched at least a wild-card spot with Milwaukee's loss.

Milwaukee, which snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday, had three baserunners in the ninth inning but couldn't score against Tony Watson, who earned his first save of the season. One of the runners, Carlos Gomez, was tagged out in a rundown between second and third base after taking off from first on Rickie Weeks' grounder. Weeks beat the throw, but Gomez was caught too far off the base.

The Brewers were shut down most of the game by Worley (8-4), who gave up four hits and no walks while striking out five. The Pirates have won each of his last four starts.

"He had everything working. He was excellent," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.

Looking for a second straight postseason appearance, Pittsburgh will play its last seven games on the road starting with the opener of a four-game series in Atlanta on Monday and ending at Cincinnati next weekend.

The Pirates have won 13 of their last 16 games, the last two on Martin's bat.

They had just two hits before McCutchen led off the seventh with a single. He went to second on a passed ball, to third on a wild pitch and scored easily on Martin's line-drive into center field.

The single extended Martin's hitting streak to 12 games.

Starling Marte followed with a single -- a sudden offensive outburst from the Pirates -- but Brewers starter Wily Peralta retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Peralta (16-11) was a tough-luck loser, yielding five hits and three walks in seven innings.

The Brewers, who spent the majority of the season in first place in the NL Central, have six games left beginning Tuesday in Cincinnati. They are 7-18 in their last 25.

"We need to score runs, and we're in a position now where we're hoping to get help from somebody," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh made the playoffs for the first time in 21 years last season, beating Cincinnati in the NL wild-card game before losing to St. Louis in the divisional series ... The Brewers have missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

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