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Pirates Vs. Brewers: Punchless Pittsburgh Falls At Milwaukee, 5-2

The Pirates dropped the first game of a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-2 on Friday night.

After three very good outings in which he went six innings in each, giving up a total of two runs, James McDonald was hit around. He did manage to strike out seven batters, but gave up five earned runs in only four innings of work. The bullpen, consisting on Friday of rookie Daniel Moskos, Chris Resop, and Jose Ascanio, shut down Milwaukee the rest of the way, but the damage had already been done. Ascanio returned for his first major league action since 2009 as he's been out with shoulder and elbow injuries.

An argument can be made that he hadn't really done anything to earn an immediate spot with the Bucs, and it will be interesting to see how Clint Hurdle uses him in the coming games. Rookie Mike Crotta struggled and had an ERA over 9.00 on the season, and was placed on the DL to make room for Ascanio.

Andrew McCutchen returned after being benched for Thursday's rain-shortened contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was ineffective against the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo, going 0-for-4. He wasn't the only one, though, as the Bucs managed a meager five hits. One of those, however, came when Ronny Cedeno hit a two-run home run to temporarily tie the game at 2-2.

Other than that, the most fight Pittsburgh showed all night was perhaps when a brief scuffle broke out between Cedeno and Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks as a result of a play that ended in a rundown. Weeks appeared to bump hard into Cedeno, and the two had words. Benches were cleared, but no major trouble occurred and no one was ejected.

The Pirates will try to get back on track tomorrow night.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.