MILWAUKEE (AP)—Hours after hearing that his home near Biloxi, Miss., sustained only minor damage from Hurricane Katrina, Paul Maholm had quite a major league debut.
The Pirates’ first-round draft choice in 2003, Maholm (1-0) lives in Ocean Springs, Miss., just across Back Bay from Biloxi. The entire area was devastated by the hurricane, but Maholm received a phone call from his in-laws about 11 a.m. that his house was not destroyed.
“We’re very lucky,” he said after giving up four hits, walking three and striking out five. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that are going to be hurting, for probably years, to get back.
“When I go home, there’s not going to be a lot there, but at least I’m not going to have to deal with a lot to get my house back together,” he said.
Maholm replaced Zach Duke in the rotation when the Pirates’ rookie phenom went on the disabled list. The left-hander kept the Brewers 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
“This is more than I could ever have expected my debut would have been,” he said. “What happened was way better than I thought it could be. I was just trying to keep the game winnable for us and with a five spot that made it pretty easy.”
Maholm said he stopped thinking about the hurricane once he took the field for pregame warmups.
“I got here and watched the news and got my mind off the game,” he said of getting in the clubhouse before the game. “Once I went out and started stretching, it was gametime. I guess that’s one of my strengths. I can just block a lot of stuff out, go after it and get the job done.”
Milwaukee’s Doug Davis (9-10) has failed to win in 13 starts dating to June 22. The left-hander walked four and gave up two hits in the five-run first.
The Brewers have lost three consecutive games since ace Ben Sheets tore a back muscle, a season-ending injury.
Jack Wilson then doubled, clearing the bases for a 5-0 lead.
“He didn’t have any trouble getting the first two hitters out,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “We’re talking about a third of an inning that killed us.”
Davis said pitching coach Mike Maddux told him to stop overthrowing and throwing across his body in the middle of the first inning.
“I just got out of whack a little bit, mechanics weren’t there,” he said. “Stupid mistake. It doesn’t seem like I ever learn from it. Thirty-three pitches to get one out.”
Over the next six innings, the Pirates managed only three singles without a walk against Davis. He pitched seven innings, giving up five runs and five hits, walking four and striking out eight.
Pittsburgh added a run in the ninth on Tike Redman’s RBI single.
Maholm singled in the fourth, his first major league hit in his second plate appearance. … Brewers RHP Matt Wise, out with a pulled muscle in his ribcage, threw a simulated game Tuesday. His status will be evaluated Wednesday and he could be reinstated when the rosters expand Thursday. … Jack Wilson has 17 RBIs this month. … Milwaukee RF Geoff Jenkins was out of the lineup with a sore back. Yost said the left-handed hitting Jenkins may also be held out of the lineup Wednesday because Pittsburgh will start LHP Mark Redman. … Davis has not won since beating the Chicago Cubs 9-4 on June 22. … Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks is in an 0-for-19 slump.
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