Brewers Defeat Bucs, 3-1

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Sports Network Recap: Capuano Wins For First Time In Three Years

Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Milwaukee
Sports Network | July 19, 2010

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer and Chris Capuano picked up his first win in over three years, as the Milwaukee Brewers earned a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a four-game series at PNC Park.

Prince Fielder also homered for Milwaukee, which has won six of its last eight overall despite being held to only three hits. The Brewers have now won five straight against the Pirates.

Capuano (1-1), who returned to the mound on June 3 after undergoing dual Tommy John surgeries, hadn’t won a game since May 7, 2007. In this one, the left- hander allowed one run on three hits, walked one and struck out four in throwing only 65 pitches over five innings. John Axford threw a scoreless ninth to register his 12th save of the season.

Ronny Cedeno had a pair of hits, including a run-scoring triple for the Pirates, who had taken two of three games versus Houston over the weekend. Pittsburgh has dropped eight of its last 10.

Jeff Karstens (2-5) was saddled with the loss despite throwing six solid innings. The righty allowed three runs on as many hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk.

Pittsburgh appeared to have something going in the bottom of the ninth, trailing 3-1. Axford came on and gave up a leadoff single to Garrett Jones, then walked Pedro Alvarez. However, the right-hander struck out the next two batters before retiring Cedeno on a groundout to second that sealed the win.

Karstens pitched two perfect innings before rain halted play for 50 minutes prior to the bottom of the second. When play continued the Pirates right- hander picked up where he left off by retiring the next six batters before Fielder broke the string with a homer to left leading off the fifth.

Alvarez drew a leadoff walk in the home half and crossed the plate on Cedeno’s two-out triple to center that evened things. Karstens lined out to third to end the inning.

Milwaukee then regained the lead in the sixth. Carlos Gomez reached with a one-out, pinch-hit bunt single and Weeks followed by crushing a fastball into the left-field seats for a 3-1 game.

Pittsburgh stranded a pair of runners in the seventh and Kameron Loe, who retired the final batter in the inning, set the Pirates down in order in the eighth.

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen sat out the game after suffering a right shoulder injury in Sunday’s win versus Houston and is listed as day-to- day…Karstens fell to 0-3 in nine career games — six starts — against Milwaukee…Pittsburgh finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven.

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Pirates Rally In Ninth, But Lose 3-1

Jeff Karstens took a perfect game into the fifth inning, but ended up allowing homers to Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks that gave the Brewers all they needed to defeat the Bucs, 3-1. The Pirates managed to rally in the ninth, bringing the winning run to the plate against Milwaukee’s John Axford, but Axford struck out Ryan Doumit and Ryan Church and got Ronny Cedeno to ground out to end the game.

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Preview: Pirates Look To End Hard-Luck Streak Against Brewers

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming off perhaps their most complete victory of the season. They'll need that momentum given their struggles versus the Milwaukee Brewers this season.

The Pirates will try to snap a four-game skid to the Brewers and beat the club for just the fourth time in 12 meetings this season in the opener of a four- game series tonight at PNC Park.

Milwaukee's season looked to be in good shape given how it performed versus Pittsburgh earlier this season. The Brewers won their first four games versus the Pirates -- all in April -- by a 53-4 margin before losing three in a row to the Buccos. However, the Brewers have countered with another four-game win streak over Pittsburgh, sweeping a three-game set in Milwaukee from July 9-11 in the most recent meeting.

The Pirates, who have lost four of five at home to the Brew Crew this season, seem to be putting things together though after a seven-game overall slide. They outscored the Astros, 21-6, in taking the final two contests of a three- game weekend series, winning Sunday's finale 9-0 behind a season-high 19 hits and a three-hit shutout by starter Paul Maholm.

Maholm did not permit a runner past first base, allowing just three singles while notching the second shutout of his career.

"Everything was good. I threw one slider all day," commented Maholm about his outing during which he retired the side in order five times. "I mixed speeds with the curveball and the sinker. I threw a few changeups. They were aggressive, so I kept the ball down and let them beat it into the ground."

Ronny Cedeno had four hits, including three doubles, and scored twice, Ryan Doumit had a trio of hits and Garrett Jones hit a two-run homer, the Pirates' first with a man on base since June 8 that ended a streak of 1,097 straight at-bats. That was the longest such run since the Astros in 1984.

The Pirates won for the seventh time in their last nine home games, but did see center fielder Andrew McCutchen suffer a sprained right shoulder after making a diving catch in the eighth inning that has him day-to-day.

Right-hander Jeff Karstens will be looking tonight to avenge a loss to the Brewers in his last outing, a July 10 loss in which he gave up four runs on five hits and a career-high six walks. He also fanned five, but gave up back- to-back homers to Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in the five-inning start.

The 27-year-old fell to 2-4 with a 4.87 earned run average on the season and 0-2 with a 4.01 ERA in eight career games versus Milwaukee, five of those starts.

Braun and Fielder both contributed at the plate on Sunday versus Atlanta, but Milwaukee still dropped an 11-6 decision. Fielder hit his 22nd homer of the season -- a solo blast -- while Braun had three hits and drove in a run.

Rickie Weeks added a pair of home runs, giving him a career-high 17 on the season which is also a Brewers single-season record by a second baseman. However, starter Manny Parra allowed 10 runs -- five in the third inning -- over 5 1/3 frames to suffer the loss.

Milwaukee had won five of six coming in.

"We didn't get the job done but I thought we played good baseball. Sometimes it goes that way, but we have something to build off of. We got another great team over there and we split [the four-game series] with them," Weeks said.

With Doug Davis on the disabled list due to left elbow tendinitis, 31-year-old Chris Capuano will get another chance to end his franchise-record 13-decision losing streak that dates back to the 2007 season.

Capuano pitched for the first time since that season on June 3 after returning from dual Tommy John surgeries and the left-hander made the start versus the Marlins. However, he took the loss after giving up three runs over 3 2/3 innings and has since made seven relief outings without a decision.

Capuano, who hasn't won since May 7, 2007, is pitching to a 4.35 ERA this year and recorded two outs while working around a hit versus the Pirates on July 9. In 12 career meetings versus the club, including 11 starts, he is 2-6 with a 6.34 ERA.

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