The Bucs were at least centering up on the ball off Zack Greinke. McCutch lined out to center, and Xavier paul singled on a soft liner. However, he called on his inner Lastings Milledge and was doubled off firts when Garrett Jones lined a rocket to short. Paul Maholm put down the Brewers in order.
The Pirates went down quietly in the second. Not so for the Brew Crew. With one away, Casey McGehee blooped a knock to right, moved to second on a potential DP bouncer that Maholm couldn't get out of his glove. He came in when Josh Wilson dropped a 0-2 pitch into center just over Walker's glove. Jonathan Lucroy hit the hardest ball off the inning, lining a single to left. Grienke put some decent wood to one, too, but lined out to right. It was 1-0 Milwaukee after two frames, thanks to the bottom of the lineup.
The Bucs went down 1-2-3 in the third, with Mike McKenry and PM striking out. The game started to get away here. After two outs, the heart of the Brewer order struck. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder both lined singles and came home when McGehee tripled the opposite way. It was 3-0 Brew Crew, all the runs coming with two away.
Greinke struck out the side to start the fourth. Maholm put away the bottom of the order cleanly.
Ryan Ludwick walked with an out in the fifth, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a Pedro ground out, and back to the dugout after Ronny Cedeno popped out. Pedro's day wasn't going to get any better.
His boot (he tried to backhand a ball instead of getting in front of it) put Corey Hart at second, a grounder moved him to third, and a sac fly by Braun brought him in. Fielder, of all people, got an infield hit on a soft roller to the left side with the shift on. After five, it was 4-0 and the Bucs were showing no signs of life.
In the sixth, the Bucs showed a spark when McKenry and pinch hitter Matt Diaz singled to start the frame. But McCutch hit into a rally killing 6-4-3 DP, and a Jones pop up ended it. Maholm went five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits, a very so-so outing. Jason Grilli got the Brewers in order.
The Bucs went down without a peep in the seventh, striking out two more times. Grilli stayed on and pitched another clean frame, picking up a pair of K's himself.
In the eighth, the Bucs mounted a comeback. With an out, Cedeno singled and was chased home on a McKenry double to left. Another out later (Dewey pinch hit, ran the count to 3-1 and swung at ball four twice to K), McCutch bounced a ball over the CF wall for a ground rule double, and it was 4-2. Francisco Rodriguez took over and got Paul to tap back to the mound.
Then Joe Beimel threw a little gas on the fire; he faced two hitters, Braun and Fielder and they both took fastballs deep. Jose Veras came on. After an out, he gave up a double to Yuniesky Betancourt. After another out, Lucroy singled him home, and it was 7-2 Milwaukee. To add a little insult, Rodriguez legged out an infield hit, his first MLB knock. The baseball gods had the last laugh, though; he had to leave the game with cramps.
Kameron Loe mopped up the Bucs in order, and the agony continues. The Bucs were outhit 12-6, outhomered 2-0, and struck out 10 times to the Brewer's three. The Achille's Heel of Milwaukee is their starting pitching, and the Bucs have to solve it. Otherwise, it'll be the same ol'. And you can see it on the field; the Pirate players have their tails between their legs while the Brewers are yukking it up. We'll see what kind of motivator the skipper is this series.
Tomorrow Kevin Correia takes on Marco Estrada.
- The Pirates are 3-34 at Miller Park since 2007.
- Zack Greinke allowed just four balls to leave the infield in 7-2/3 innings of work.
- Each of Milwaukee's first six hits came with two strikes.
- LHP Justin Wilson was moved from starter to the bullpen at Indy. Scott McCauley, Tribe announcer, tweeted that he hit 99 on the gun tonight - four times.