Pirates Vs. Brewers Final: James McDonald Rocked As Pittsburgh Loses 12-8 To Milwaukee

The Pittsburgh Pirates (70-63) and starter James McDonald were battered on Sunday, losing 12-8 to the host Milwaukee Brewers (65-68). The Pirates were swept in the three-game weekend series, and have lost nine of their last 12 games.

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Pirates Vs. Brewers Final Score: Pittsburgh Loses 12-8 To Milwaukee, Has Dropped 9 Of Last 12 Games

The Pittsburgh Pirates (70-63) and starter James McDonald were battered on Sunday, losing 12-8 to the host Milwaukee Brewers (65-68). The Pirates were swept in the three-game weekend series, and have lost nine of their last 12 games.

McDonald lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing seven earned runs on six hits, including four home runs. McDonald only allowed two home runs in the first two months of the season. It was the shortest outing of McDonald's career as a starter.

The one positive from Sunday's loss was the awakening of the Pittsburgh bats after some recent sluggish performances. The Pirates had 13 hits in the game, including three home runs, and knocked Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo from the game in the fifth inning after he allowed 11 of those hits and seven earned runs.

Pittsburgh will attempt to right the ship when they return home to host the woeful Houston Astros on Monday at PNC Park.

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

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Pirates Vs. Brewers Starting Lineups: Brock Holt Gets First Career Start

The Pittsburgh Pirates come in to their game against the Milwaukee Brewers needing a spark. After dropping the first two games of the series, the Bucs are making a few changes, including starting Brock Holt at second base and leading off.

This will be his first career start. He was in Double-A just over a month ago, but after hitting over .400 in Triple-A, he earned the addition to the MLB roster after Sept. 1.

Here are the lineups for the game.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Brock Holt 2B
Jose Tabata LF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones RF
Gaby Sanchez 1B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Michael McKenry C
Josh Harrison SS
James McDonald P

Milwaukee Brewers

Norichika Aoki RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart 1B
Martin Maldonado C
Carlos Gomez CF
Jeff Bianchi SS
Yovani Gallardo P

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

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Pirates Vs. Brewers Game Preview: Pittsburgh Hopes To Avoid Sweep In Milwaukee

Being just a game-and-a-half back from the lead in the National League wild card standings, the Pittsburgh Pirates hope to avoid a sweep today at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers en route to maintaining good positioning for the playoffs.

Last night, the Brewers won the series against PIttsburgh with a Corey Hart walk-off home run over the left field wall. Closer Joel Hanrahan earned the loss for the Bucs.

James McDonald (12-6, 3.57 ERA) will take the mound for Pittsburgh, against Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.52 ERA), who has impressively won six of his last starts. McDonald is riding a bit of a wave of success himself, coming off of a Tuesday victory against St. Louis which saw the righty allow just two hits over seven innings, striking out six.

The game begins at 2:10 p.m. ET at Miller Park, and will be televised on ROOT Sports in PIttsburgh and FSWI in Milwaukee.

For more Pittsburgh Pirates coverage, visit Bucs Dugout, SB Nation Pittsburgh and Baseball Nation.

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Pirates-Brewers Final Score: Corey Hart And Milwaukee Walk-Off With A 3-2 Win

The Milwaukee Brewers took another game from the Pittsburgh Pirates - this time on a walk-off home run by Corey Hart - winning 3-2 on Saturday night at Miller Park.

A.J. Burnett was masterful early on, not allowing a hit through the first 5.2 innings, despite allowing a run in the third from a walk to Carlos Gomez followed by two stolen bases and a wild pitch.

Burnett ultimately earned a no-decision in 6.2 innings of work, allowing only two hits and as many runs with nine strikeouts. His undoing was a lack of control, which resulted in four free passes.

Marco Estrada was terrific for the Brew Crew, punching out 10 Pirates in seven frames. The 29-year-old was in control, surrendering just four hits, one walk and a run.

Pedro Alvarez hit the only home run for Pittsburgh, crushing an Estrada offering in the second inning to take a fleeting 1-0 advantage.

On Sunday, the Pirates will attempt to avoid being swept with James McDonald on the hill.

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

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Pirates Promote Chris Leroux, Jeff Locke, 3 Others

The Pittsburgh Pirates will take advantage of expanded rosters on Saturday, as the team will call up Chris Leroux, Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson, Eric Fryer, and Brock Holt, according to Pirates Prospects.

Leroux, Locke and Wilson will provide depth to the bullpen, which certainly could use fresh arms after Jeff Karstens failed to get out of the first inning in Friday's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Karstens recorded just one out while giving up four runs on five hits -- including a home run.

Locke, who will turn 25 in November, has pitched very well in AAA this season. Locke is the owner of a 2.48 ERA and has held opponents in AAA to a .241 average against, while striking out 131 in 141 and 2/3 innings of work on the year.

Wilson was recently up in Pittsburgh on Aug. 20, striking out the side in his lone appearance at the big league level.

For the latest on all things Pittsburgh Pirates, be sure to check out Bucs Dugout and join the discussion.

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Pirates Vs. Brewers Game Preview: Bucs Look To Burnett To Stop Skid

The Pittsburgh Pirates trail the St. Louis Cardinals by just half a game in the race for the second National League wild-card spot. They'll put the ball in A.J. Burnett's hand as they look for a much-needed win.

Burnett welcomes the month of September, as August was not so kind to the veteran right-hander. It was the first month in which Burnett did not win at least three games, and he saw his ERA rise from 3.19 to 3.67.

The Buccos, losers of seven of their last ten, hope the return of Andrew McCutchen will add a spark to the offense. McCutchen missed Friday's game, and hasn't homered in over two weeks.

The Brewers, meanwhile, are red-hot, having won ten of their last twelve games. They'll send Marco Estrada to the mound; he's allowed no earned runs and fanned 17 in his last two starts.

Saturday's game will start at 7:10 PM ET, and can be viewed on ROOT.

For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout, and continue to check SB Nation Pittsburgh for the latest news and updates.

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Pirates Vs. Brewers Recap: Jeff Karstens Injured In 1st Inning Of 9-3 Loss

The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped their series opener in Milwaukee on Friday night in an ugly fashion, losing 9-3. Starter Jeff Karstens was removed after getting just one out in the first inning. He gave up five hits and four runs right off the bat, and was then visited at the mound by Clint Hurdle and the Bucs training staff. He departed the game with what the Pirates later called discomfort in his right hip flexor.

Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart did the damage against Karstens for the quick-strike four-spot. Ramirez drove in Nyjer Morgan and Rickie Weeks with a deep single. Hart stepped into the box next and took Karstens deep to left-center for two more. That would prove to be enough for the Brew Crew, but they'd add four more in their final at-bat against Hisanori Takahashi. The recently-acquired reliever was shelled, giving up four hits and issuing two walks in another ugly inning.

On offense, there was not much doing with Andrew McCutchen out of the lineup and resting. Alex Presley went 2-4 and drove in two runs, but the Bucs could never put together a multi-run rally to make things interesting. Garrett Jones also drove in a run when he went deep for the 22nd time this season.

After using four relievers to pitch the final 8.2 innings, the Bucs will need a solid performance from starter A.J. Burnett in Game 2 on Saturday. He'll be opposed by Marco Estrada.

For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout, and continue to check SB Nation Pittsburgh for the latest news and updates.

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Pirates Vs. Brewers Preview: Probable Starters, Game Time, And More

The Pirates travel to Milwaukee to begin a three game series.

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