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Pittsburgh Pirates end 20-year losing streak

ESPN staff
September 4, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

The Pittsburgh Pirates have ended the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons in US sports history, winning their 81st game of the MLB season to cap their woeful run at 20 years.

A dramatic home run from pinch-hitter Travis Snider in the top of the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers moved the Pirates to a record of 81-57, and ensured they will win at least half of their games even if they lose every game for the remainder of the 162-game season.

However, the Pirates are unlikely to be content with that, as the victory in Milwaukee keeps them two games clear of the St Louis Cardinals at the top of the National League Central Division with a spot in the playoffs at stake.

"We've played good baseball all year," Snider said. "To have the veterans that we've picked up, and you add them into the mix with the guys that have grinded all year, brings some great personality, some great veteran leadership and overall great players."

The score in Milwaukee was tied at 3-3 when Snider came to the plate in place of pitcher Vin Mazzaro, and the outfielder clubbed Brewers' reliever Jim Henderson's pitch out of the ballpark. Mark Melancon then closed out the game for the Pirates at the bottom of the ninth.

Pittsburgh's last season with as many as 81 wins came in 1992, and the club won just 57 games as recently as three years ago.

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