After last season that saw the Pittsburgh Pirates break their two-decade losing streak, many felt that they had also broken the curse of the Milwaukee Brewers and Miller Park in the process.
You may want to pump the brakes on that theory.
The Pirates bats were silenced by Brewers’ starter Kyle Lohse as the veteran right-hander allowed only four hits through 8 2/3 innings in the Brewers’ 4-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Miller Park. Pittsburgh was swept in the three-game weekend series.
The win marked the ninth consecutive for the Brewers (10-2), but unlike years past, the Pirates weren’t blown out in Milwaukee as they were only outscored 11-5 in the series. However, one theme was common: the Pirates (6-6) couldn’t get the big hit when they needed it.
Pirates starter Charlie Morton (0-1) didn’t pitch poorly as he allowed only six hits and two earned runs through seven innings of work, but poor defense and the lack of offense didn’t give him much of a chance on the afternoon.
The Brewers struck first with a Carlos Gomez sacrifice fly in the third, but the Bucs answered when Andrew McCutchen tied the game at one with a sac fly of his own in the fourth after singles from Starling Marte and Jose Tabata.
But the Pirates would muster only two more baserunners the rest of the afternoon as Lohse (2-1) pounded the strike zone.
Then things got comical.
Morton escaped further damage, but the three-run lead proved to be too big of a mountain to climb.
After a two-out single from McCutchen in the ninth, Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke pulled Lohse with Pedro Alvarez coming to the plate. But Will Smith came on to strike out Alvarez to end the game and pick up his first save of the season.
The Bucs will try and get back in the winning column on Monday when they travel to Cincinnati. Wandy Rodriguez (0-2, 5.73 ERA) will get the ball for the Bucs and is scheduled to be opposed by Homer Bailey (0-1, 7.71).