Regardless of the park, Brewers continue to have way with Pirates
By Travis Sawchik
Published: Monday, May 13, 2013, 10:15 p.m.
Regardless of the park, regardless of the lineup, the Brewers continue to perplex the Pirates.
Milwaukee sat star Ryan Braun (stiff neck) and second baseman Rickie Weeks but still dominated the Pirates, 5-1, on Monday at PNC Park.
The loss snapped the Pirates' three-game winning streak.
The Pirates double- and triple-coded signs during their trip to Miller Park last month, perhaps suspicious that their futility at the Brewers' home could be linked to sign stealing. But the Brewers have been nearly as successful at PNC Park in recent years, improving to 24-12 at the Pirates' home since 2008.
Another familiar theme was Pirates starter A.J. Burnett (3-4) having quality stuff but lacking run support.
“It's just one of those nights,” Burnett said, “nothing went our way.”
Burnett raised his National League-leading strikeout total to 72 with six strikeouts that came via his sweeping curve and a firm fastball. He was good enough to win, allowing four runs — three earned — and seven hits over seven innings. He did not a walk a batter.
But when the Pirates face Brewers starter Marco Estrada (2-3), there typically is not much margin for error.
Estrada entered with a 6.05 ERA, but he is now 7-3 with a 2.17 ERA in 10 starts against the Pirates. Estrada pitched seven innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking one and striking out one.
“He moves the ball around the plate in the strike zone,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Estrada. “He spots up his fastball. We haven't had a lot of success against him.”
Brewers outfielder Nori Aoki provided Estrada with all the run support he needed, going 3 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs. Aoki led off the game with a double and scored on a Carlos Gomez infield RBI single.
Burnett held the Brewers to one run until the fifth when Aoki plated Logan Schafer with an RBI double and scored on a Jean Segura RBI single, giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
Estrada did not allow a run until Gaby Sanchez doubled in the seventh and scored on a Pedro Alvarez groundout, cutting the deficit to 4-1. Alvarez had his average fall below .200 again, going 0 for 3 with an RBI.
The Pirates continue to miss Russell Martin's arm and veteran presence. Martin missed his fourth straight game with a neck injury. The Brewers ran at will against backup catcher Michael McKenry, stealing six bases in six attempts. McKenry is just 1 for 23 in throwing out baserunners this season.
“The thing is I don't know how many great jumps they had,” Burnett said. “I don't think they had a great jump.”
Segura continued his torrid sophomore campaign, stealing three bases.
“They have more team speed than anybody in this league,” Hurdle said. “Everyone in the lineup runs with the exception of (Aramis) Ramirez.”
Neil Walker, who hadn't played since April 26 in St. Louis when he suffered a laceration to his right hand, was activated from the DL and went 0 for 4, though he did drive the ball twice, flying out to the center-field warning track in the fifth inning. Walker was pleased he was able to barrel up several pitches in his first game back.
Perhaps in warmer weather Walker's fifth-inning fly to center, or Andrew McCutchen's seventh-inning drive to the left-field warning track, would have left the park. But the game-time temperature was a cool 51 degrees, and the Pirates continue to remain cold against the Brewers.
“I really can't name one particular thing,” Walker said. “We have to do better in all aspects.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Maatta not a top rookie finalist
- Indictment alleges scheme defrauded government of $10 million
- Penguins insider: Malkin found confidence in Game 3
- Switch in pairings helps Penguins defensemen find groove in Game 3
- State College restaurant plans new statue of Joe Paterno
- ‘Save Chatham’ protesters ordered to leave Shadyside campus
- Kovacevic: No science to solving power play
- Highmark’s insurance profit falls 40%
- Duquesne teachers accept fact-finder recommendations for contract
- Husband to stand trial in Derry middle school teacher’s murder
- Alaska’s Iditarod Trail challenges Unity couple