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.