Brewers 7, Pirates 0

Mark Rogers was frustrated with himself. He derided his lack of

consistency and command. Remarked after the game how he ”missed my

fair share” of pitches, too.

All he did was toss five shutout innings.

Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez homered off Erik Bedard, leading

Rogers and the Milwaukee Brewers over the wobbling Pittsburgh

Pirates 7-0 on Sunday.

Rogers was inefficient, throwing 101 pitches. But he allowed

only three hits and three walks in helping the Brewers win for the

fifth time in six games.

”To pitch like that and still throw up all the zeros he did,

that’s good,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. ”It’s hard to

do, get people on the bases and you keep them there. It does say a

lot for him being able to make pitches when he needed to.”

Bedard (7-14) lasted only 4 2-3 innings and leads the majors in

losses.

The Pirates have lost five of six. They trail St. Louis by two

games for the second NL wild-card spot, with the Cardinals coming

to PNC Park for a three-game series starting Monday night.

Milwaukee entered this series having gone 1-14 on the road since

the All-Star break but took two of three.

Rogers (2-1) won six days after picking up his first victory in

the majors. He struck out five, not allowing a baserunner to reach

third base during his outing. The fifth overall pick of the 2004

draft, he was making his eighth career start and sixth this

season.

”I was a little frustrated with myself,” Rogers said. ”Today

was a battle, and I was able to get through it unscathed,

fortunately. I was able to execute pitches when I needed to, and I

think that can make a big difference in the game.”

Manny Parra pitched the sixth and seventh, Jose Veras struck out

three around a walk in the eighth and Kameron Loe closed out the

Brewers’ sixth shutout.

Jonathan Lucroy added three hits for the Brewers. Josh Harrison

had two hits for Pittsburgh, which was shut out for the 11th

time.

Bedard did not allow a hit through 3 2-3 innings, but six of the

final nine batters he faced did have a hit and each scored.

”I made some good pitches, and then they starting hitting the

ball around and scored runs,” Bedard said.

Two-out singles by Corey Hart and Lucroy in the fourth preceded

Gomez’s 13th home run.

Rogers led off the next inning with a double and scored on

Rickie Weeks’ one-out single. Two batters later, Ramirez hit his

18th homer.

”Sometimes, it’s like that,” Gomez said. ”One thing happens

in a game and everybody gets excited and wants to swing the bats

better. It’s just somebody has to start it.”

Formerly with Pittsburgh, Ramirez went 6 for 12 in the series

with an extra-base hit in each game. His 62 extra-base hits lead

the National League.

The Pirates have lost 12 of 17, falling from 2 1/2 games back in

the NL Central to eight behind.

”I would not say we’re not focused,” manager Clint Hurdle

said. ”I wouldn’t say that’s an accurate statement. We’re just not

playing well.

”We’ve got to play better to win. And they know that. There’s

nobody who knows it better than them.”

NOTES: Before the game, the Pirates activated LHP Hisanori

Takahashi to the active roster and placed RHP Chad Qualls on the

disabled list with irritation of his left big toe. Claimed off

waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, Takahashi pitched a

perfect eighth. … A day after leaving a game with groin

discomfort, Pirates OF Jose Tabata pinch hit. Hurdle said Tabata

was available to play the field if needed, too. … The crowd of

36,626 was the 16th sellout of the season at PNC Park. The stadium

record is 19. … Looking for their first winning season or playoff

berth since 1992, the Pirates open what is arguably their biggest

series in two decades Monday against the Cardinals. Aces start it

out: Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett (15-4, 3.63 ERA) and Kyle Lohse

(13-2, 2.61) of St. Louis. … The Brewers embark on a four-game

series in Chicago. Milwaukee swept the Cubs at home prior to

arriving in Pittsburgh.