The Pittsburgh Pirates finally found a way to beat the Milwaukee Brewers – and showed some fight in the process.
Delwyn Young and Garrett Jones homered to help Pittsburgh end a 17-game skid against Milwaukee with an 8-5 victory Monday night.
“It’s not something you think about, but you pick up the stat sheet and find out about it pretty quick,” Young said. “It’s always good to get a doughnut off the board, especially after 17 losses to them.”
Andrew McCutchen had three hits and scored two runs for Pittsburgh, which snapped the major’s longest losing streak against a single opponent in 39 years. The Baltimore Orioles won 23 straight against the Kansas City Royals from 1969-70.
Both benches and bullpens cleared during the eighth in another episode in the running feud between the two teams.
Felipe Lopez went 4 for 4 in his Milwaukee debut and Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the Brewers‘ three-run ninth. Lopez was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Milwaukee committed three errors in their third loss in four games.
Chris Smith hit Pirates reliever Jeff Karstens with a pitch in the eighth, leading to both teams coming on the field. It was Karstens’ first appearance against Milwaukee since he hit Braun on April 27 after the slugger homered in his previous at-bat, prompting the All-Star outfielder to say after the game “We play them about 17 more times. Tell Mr. Selig, we’ll see what happens.”
Karstens glared at Smith after being hit in the left upper arm and was restrained by jawing catcher Jason Kendall. With the rest of the players on the field, Kendall needed to be held back by burly slugger Prince Fielder as he and Pirates pitching coach Joe Kerrigan yelled at each other.
“I was fine until (Kerrigan) started yelling at me,” said Kendall, who kept intentionally mispronouncing Kerrigan’s name. “I can take a lot, but I’m not going to get yelled at.”
Pittsburgh’s Ryan Doumit had been hit earlier in the game, and the Pirates‘ Freddy Sanchez was hit by a pitch during that April series in Milwaukee.
Pirates manager John Russell was visibly agitated after the win.
“They had a chance to get (Karstens) the game he pitched,” Russell said. “For them to wait two months, they hit two or three guys in between. … For them to do it now, I don’t understand that. They made such a big deal out of it, but they had their opportunity. And then to wait until they’re getting beat and do it tonight, I didn’t really understand what the reasoning is behind that.”
No players were ejected, but Brewers manager Ken Macha said he expected both teams to get warnings before Tuesday’s game.
“It’s part of the game that I don’t condone and don’t enjoy,” Macha said. “Who knows what’s going to happen?”
“I was kind of expecting it,” said Karstens, who was fine physically after the game. “They felt like they did what they had to do, I guess.”
Pittsburgh got off to a fast start after the game was delayed 2 hours and 10 minutes due to rain. Adam LaRoche hit an RBI single before Young connected for a three-run shot to make it 4-1.
Jones hit a solo shot in the sixth for his eighth of the season in only his 15th game and 59th at-bat. He has homered in five of his past seven games and has a hit in 11 of his past 12 contests.
Mike Burns (2-3) lasted just three innings for Milwaukee, allowing six runs, four earned, and six hits in his fifth start of the season. He has given up 16 runs over 12 2-3 innings in three starts this month.
“Tonight wasn’t a very good start for him, let me put it that way,” Macha said.
Ross Ohlendorf (8-7) wasn’t sharp but won for the third time in his past 11 starts. He allowed seven hits and walked two, but limited the Brewers to two runs in five innings.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I was excited about having the chance to end our losing streak against them,” Ohlendorf said. “I’m glad we were able to. I’m sure it will help us play a little more relaxed against them the rest of the series.” Karstens pitched three innings to extend the Pittsburgh bullpen’s scoreless streak to 19 2-3 innings. Jesse Chavez surrendered Craig Counsell‘s RBI double and Braun’s 17th homer in the ninth.
Lopez wasn’t in the original starting lineup because he wasn’t expected to arrive at the park until 6 p.m. As the rain delay progressed, Brewers manager Ken Macha inserted him into the leadoff spot. … The Brewers outscored the Pirates 111-49 during the winning streak. … Twelve of Jones’ 18 hits have been for extra bases.