Pirates 4, Brewers 2
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Given a chance to move 10 games over .500 for the first time in 15 years, the Milwaukee Brewers fell short.
Jose Bautista and Ronny Paulino hit consecutive home runs in a four-run seventh inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for a 4-2 victory Thursday night that stopped the Brewers’ four-game winning streak.
“It’s very frustrating,” Brewers starter Dave Bush said. “Mostly it’s just disappointing. I am one pitch away from maybe getting a win, at least putting us in a position to get a win. I am disappointed that when it came down to it, I couldn’t make the pitch when I needed to. I wish I had an answer for it.”
Pittsburgh (13-14) had lost four of its previous five games following an 11-10 start.
Bush (2-3) gave up four runs and six hits in seven innings, allowing just one runner past second base in the first six innings.
With Pittsburgh trailing 2-0 in the seventh, Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay opened with doubles. Bautista hit a go-ahead, two-run homer with two outs and Paulino took a ball, then homered for a two-run lead.
“What put that opportunity in play was the job that our starting pitcher did,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. “I don’t know what happens if (the Brewers) put a couple more runs up. It’s just another terrific pitching performance.”
Big innings have hurt Bush all season, who has a 6.03 ERA.
“It’s mostly just about command,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “Tonight again he is cruising along and just made a couple mistakes that ended up killing him when he didn’t have margin for error.”
A few costly baserunning mistakes hurt the Brewers, who still lead the NL Central at 18-10.
Bush helped himself with a one-out double in the third, his third hit and second double in 11 at-bats this season, and scored on Prince Fielder’s two-out single. But J.J. Hardy, who had walked and went to third on Fielder’s single, was caught trying to steal home on the next pitch, ending the inning.
Yost said it was supposed to be a straight steal of second by Fielder, who stopped running between first and second, and Hardy tried to steal home on his own. He was thrown out easily.
In the fourth, Bill Hall singled to start the inning, went to second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout. But shortstop Jack Wilson threw him out easily at home after Hall ran on contact on Kevin Mench’s grounder. Yost said Hall made a mistake.
Then in the fifth, Tony Graffanino was caught stealing when Bush swung and missed on a hit-and-run play.
Yost said the team ran itself out of the game early.
“But that wasn’t the intention,” he said. “If you are afraid of running yourself out of the game, you might as well just go station to station and play very safe baseball.
“We are trying to win games. We are going to stay aggressive, and we are going to play aggressive.”
Milwaukee has not been 10 games over .500 since finishing the 1992 season 92-70. That also was the last time the Brewers finished with a winning record.
“We knew they were a good team,” Gorzelanny said. “We knew we had to come out here and make a statement. I kept them off balance a little bit. I got big outs.”
Hardy extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff double in the sixth and scored on Gorzelanny’s wild pitch to make it 2-0.
“You are not going to win every game, so we’re not worried about it,” Hall said. “We just know we’re playing well, and that’s all that matters now. We’re not getting too caught up in standings. We will just let the record speak for itself.”
Pittsburgh SS Jack Wilson had two doubles, giving him 48 hits at Miller Park, fourth most among visitors. … The Pirates placed RHP John Wasdin on the 15-day DL with a right thumb strain and recalled RHP Marty McLeary from Triple-A Indianapolis. Wasdin was 1-1 with a 6.92 ERA in nine games. In four starts with Indianapolis, McLeary was 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA. … Brewers LHP Chris Capuano, who left Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals after the third inning with a bruised right calf, should make his next start Monday against Washington, Yost said.