MILWAUKEE (AP) — Andrew McCutchen, Jody Mercer and Josh Bell each drove in two runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates preserved their faint playoff hopes alive with a 6-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The Pirates won their fifth straight at Miller Park and improved to .500 (75-75) for the first time since they were 69-69 on Sept. 8. Pittsburgh began the day five games behind San Francisco for the second NL wild card spot and St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins in between the Pirates and Giants.

McCutchen's two-run double in the first staked rookie left-hander Steven Brault to an early lead. Bell's two-run single in the fifth chased starter Matt Garza (5-8). Mercer produced run-scoring singles in the fourth and sixth.

Jared Hughes (1-1) took over for Brault with runners on first and third an no outs in the fifth, and gave up Chris Carter' run-scoring double-play grounder and struck out Domingo Santana to end the inning.

Tony Watson pitched the ninth for his 14th save.