Bucs lose to Brewers, 10-4
MILWAUKEE -- Zach Duke might not be bounced from the Pirates' starting rotation after Friday's 10-4 loss against the Milwaukee Brewers.
But he could get a little extra time to regroup before making his next start.
Tonight, left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, who spent the past seven weeks rebuilding his confidence in the minors, will rejoin the rotation. Management would like to call up righty Ross Ohlendorf from Triple-A Indianapolis as soon as possible, certainly no later that Sept. 1 when rosters expand.
That will give the Pirates a glut of starting pitchers.
"We've got seven starters, potentially -- starting Sept. 1, especially," manager John Russell said. "How do you get all those guys in• You have to look at workloads and schedules."
A six-man rotation is a possibility, though not likely. Instead, Russell and pitching coach Jeff Andrews are devising a plan to give Jeff Karstens, Jason Davis and Paul Maholm -- who all are reaching high inning counts for the season -- extra time between starts.
It's possible Duke (4-12), who has lost eight straight decisions, could be skipped a time or two. That would give him extra bullpen sessions to get back in sync.
Russell mapped out his next four starters: Gorzelanny, Maholm, Karstens and Ian Snell. After that, it's up in the air.
"Going into next week, we'll have a better feel for where we're going," Russell said.
Duke has not won since June 9, a span of 13 games. The left-hander also has not won a road game in 18 outings (17 starts) since May 27, 2007.
Duke went six innings and allowed four runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out four.
The Pirates moved station to station to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning against right-hander Dave Bush (8-9).
Nyjer Morgan led off with a single to right field and stole second. He went to third on Freddy Sanchez's ground out and scored on Ryan Doumit's grounder.
Doumit left the game after six innings with flu-like symptoms. His status is day to day.
In the second, Jack Wilson blasted a ground-rule double to center with two outs. On an 0-2 pitch, Duke plunked an RBI single into shallow center field.
Ryan Braun began the fourth with a smash down the third base line. Andy LaRoche fielded it behind the bag, and his throw sailed past Adam LaRoche at first base.
Braun got an infield hit and went to second on the error.
Prince Fielder walked on four pitches. It ended a run of 63 batters Duke had faced without issuing a walk, which was the third-longest active streak in the majors.
It was costly.
Corey Hart doubled off the center field wall, scoring Braun and Fielder. Hart went to third when right fielder Jason Michaels had trouble picking up the ball.
Duke's next no-walk streak ended at ... one, when Mike Cameron drew a base on balls. Bill Hall flied out to deep right, scoring Hart to make it 3-2.
The Brewers had runners on second and third and two outs when Duke faced Rickie Weeks. Duke ran the count full, then struck out Weeks with a high fastball. It was Duke's 32nd pitch of the inning.
J.J. Hardy led off the fifth with a solo homer to right field.
In the seventh, Brandon Moss homered into the second deck of seats in right field.
The Brewers put it away by scoring six runs in the seventh against relievers Denny Bautista and Sean Burnett.