Marco Estrada pitched a clean first against the Bucs. Kevin Correia didn't against the Brewers, although he did keep the score even. Cory Hart led off with a single, and an out later Ryan Braun walked. No prob' Prince Fielder smacked one up the middle, and with the Bucco shift, it was a custom made 6-3 twin killing.
Pittsburgh again went down without a fight in the second. Yuniesky Betancourt smacked his ninth homer of the year on an 0-2 fastball, the third straight heater KC fed him. After two, it's 1-0 Brew Crew.
And hey, the Pirates got a hit in the third, a one-out knock by Ronny Cedeno. Correia moved him to second, but Estrada whiffed McCutch to squelch that small flame. Estrada led off with a double, but KC went through the top of the order with no sweat to keep it a 1-0 match.
The Bucs continued to flounder with the lumber, going down in order for the third time in four frames. Fielder led off with a single, but never advanced past first. McCutch made a web gem catch, robbing Belancourt by running down a gap shot; even the Milwaukee crowd gave him a hand after the grab.
Ho hum. The Pirates went down 1-2-3 again. Dewey gave the TV fans a thrill by taking one to the fence in straight center, but Nyjer Morgan was there for the grab.
Jonathan Lucroy singled into center and Zack Greinke, wearing the wrong jersey (he had on tomorrow's German Day top that said "Bierbrauers"), pinch hit. He bunted him up a base, though we're pondering why Ron Roenicke would take out a guy throwing a one hitter. An out later, Morgan singled on a grounder that ticked of Neil Walker's glove to put runners on the corners. Braun got ahead 3-1 in the count, but KC came back to get him swinging.
Takashi Saito took the hill for Milwaukee, and the beat went on. The Pirates were retired in order, having sent up 19 batters in six innings, one over the minimum. With an out, Casey McGehee blooped a single into right and Betancourt walked on four pitches. Hairston fell behind 0-2 and rolled a high and tight heater to third; they got the force at second. Lucroy flew out, and it remained 1-0 after six.
LaTroy Hawkins climbed the hill for the Brew Crew. Guess what? Pittsburgh went down in order again. Correia was beginning to labor. It took nine pitches to put away pinch hitter Felipe Lopez, then Hart walked on five tosses. Morgan helped with a quick force out, grounding one to Jones at first.
That brought on Chris Resop to face Braun, who singled to left to put runners at first and third. Braun stole second. CR was ahead of Fielder 0-2, missed with a couple of curves, and walked him intentionally, loading the bases to set up the righty-righty match with McGehee. It worked. McGehee swung through two high heaters and watched a third fastball go by for strike three.
Correia went 6-2/3 innings, giving up a run on seven hits with three walks and three K's, serving 91 pitches. It was a gutsy outing, and he bobbed and weaved his way through the Milwaukee lineup pretty well.
Francisco Rodriguez took the ball for the Brew Crew. Ryan Ludwick poked a two-strike heater into center to give the Bucs their second hit, and more importantly, life. Josh Harrison came in to pinch run.
Well, scratch the give 'em life thought. Dewey went down swinging on three pitches. Pedro flew out to left, and Cedeno went down swinging on three pitches; F-Rod's change up owned the Pirates in the eighth..
D-Mac took the hill in the eighth, and set the Brewers down in order. John Axford took the ball, looking to close out the Pirates. Xavier Paul, a defensive sub, got a 3-2 fastball, drilled it into center, and ended up standing on third for a leadoff triple after Morgan took a roundabout route chasing it down.
The Bucs came up small. With the infield in, McCutch and Matt Diaz both bounced out on first pitch fastballs.
Jones walked on a 3-2 pitch to bring up The Pittsburgh Kid. Walker went down waving at a curve, and Milwaukee had another win against the Buccos.
Today's loss wasn't the result of a hex or even superior talent. The Pirates didn't come out ready to go, and let another starter with an ERA north of four to dominate them. Then with a runner on third and no outs, the Bucs didn't show enough patience to wait for a ball they could lift. They don't need a voodoo priest to lift a curse; they need a boot in the butt to kickstart some smart baseball against Milwaukee.
Charlie Morton takes on Shaun Marcum tomorrow afternoon.
- Derrek Lee had more than a sore paw; he had a fractured wrist and is expected out 3-4 weeks. So it's off to the DL for him as Josh Harrison gets the call back to the show. Lee becomes the 15th Pirate to land on the DL this season.
- Jose Tabata could return to the club for the Cardinal series Monday. The betting line is that Steve Pearce will be optioned down to clear a space for JT when he arrives back on the scene. Jones and Wood, who is out of options, would take over at first, and Harrison would be available to go against lefties at the hot corner, which would leave Pearce as the odd man out.
- RHP Duke Welker was promoted to Altoona. RHP Vic Black moved up to Bradenton to take his place.
- Lyle Overbay signed with Arizona as Xavier Nady goes on the DL.