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Pirates Top Brewers In Super-Long One

Only Tony Womack's bloop RBI single kept the 5-hour, 10-minute game between Pittsburgh and Milwaukee from dragging on any longer.

Womack's hit off Doug Jones in the seventh inning lifted the Pirates to a 1-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday night, a game delayed nearly three hours by rain.

Elmer Dessens (2-1) entered the game in the fifth after the downpour caused a 2-hour, 40-minute stoppage and pitched three innings of one-hit ball. Ricardo Rincon finished the combined four-hit shutout by pitching two perfect innings for his seventh save.

The Brewers managed just one hit after the rain delay, a single by Bobby Hughes leading off the bottom of the fifth.

"It's always tough to turn it on and turn it off. Rain delays are a factor," Brewers manager Phil Garner said. "They didn't exactly tattoo the ball after that, either. The game-winner was a jam shot over the drawn-in infield."

Aramis Ramirez, who led off the seventh with a single, scored from third on Womack's single to left over a drawn-in infield his only hit in five at-bats.

"It was just the kind of night where it didn't look like a whole lot of runs were going to be scored," Pirates manager Gene Lamont said. "We were lucky just to have a ball over the infield that scored our only run."

Jones (3-4) gave up five hits in 2 2-3 innings after replacing starter Jeff Juden. Neither Juden nor Pittsburgh starter Jason Schmidt returned when the game was resumed at 10:49 p.m. CDT.

"I wanted to go back out, but I had a kink in my neck and it was a long delay," Juden said. "It was a pitchers' duel out there tonight, good pitching on both sides and they got lucky to sneak one across."

The Brewers had just finished batting in the bottom of the fourth when the rains came. By the time play resumed nearly three hours later, only a couple hundred fans remained from the original crowd of 14,774.

Garner didn't dispute the decision to wait out the rain because the forecast called for a letup.

"I would have rather played it," he said. "It was the right call."

"You have to make sure you prepare yourself mentally to go back out there," Lamont said. "As a rule, a big league game, if they know it's going to stop raining, you're going to go back out and play."

Even though the game wasn't rained out, the Brewers said fans could use their ticket stubs to attend any game in September.

Notes: Brewers owner Bud Selig, who normally visits the press box during games, didn't show up Thursday night. Selig is refusing interview requests to comment on reports that he's decided to become baseball's commissioner. ... Milwaukee right-handed setup man Chad Fox (shoulder) will throw off a mound on Friday for the first time sice going on the disabled list on May 12. ... The Pirates have never had a winning season record at County Stadium, where they are 49-91 overall and 1-2 this season. ... John Jaha, who recently came off the disabled list, was cheered in his first at-bat at home since his drunken driving arrest last month. ... Jeff Tabaka, who sustained a broken jaw when hit by teammate Marc Wilkins in Milwaukee on May 24, will be examined on Friday by a doctor who treated him in Milwaukee. He hopes to be cleared to begin pitching again.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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