PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Brewers manager Ned Yost insisted all spring
his offense is much improved, especially with Carlos Lee batting
cleanup. Yost has some believers now, many in his own clubhouse.
Lee homered and drove in four runs in his first big game since
an offseason trade and Doug Davis pitched effectively over six
innings in the Brewers' second rout of the Pirates in as many
games, a 10-2 decision Wednesday.
"So far, so good," Lee said after Milwaukee outscored
Pittsburgh 19-4 in the two-game series. "We're doing a good job
with defense, pitching and we're getting some key hits, big base
hits, and that's the way we have to play."
The Brewers dealt popular leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik and
reliever Luis Vizcaino to the White Sox for Lee in a deal that
wasn't popular with some Brewers fans, but it probably looks a lot
better to them now.
"That's why we got him, that's why he's in middle of lineup,"
Davis said. "(As a pitcher), you can't lay one in there and expect
him to get himself out. You take a look at our lineup, and it's
Lee hit a two-run double off Kip Wells (0-1) in a four-run first
that had some of the 12,077 fans booing even before Pittsburgh
batted, then hit a solo homer leading off the fifth. Lee also had a
run-scoring grounder in the sixth against reliever John Grabow.
If the Brewers were looking for a positive start after dropping
94 games during a 12th consecutive losing season in 2004, they got
it in one of their least-favorite cities.
They went 6-12 against the Pirates last year and, going into the
series, were 11-26 in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001.
They hadn't won back-to-back there since April 8-9, 2003, a span of
16 games, before following up Monday's 9-2 victory with an even
more one-sided win.
"It's big to come in here and win a couple of games from those
guys," said Junior Spivey, who had three extra-base hits after
striking out four times Monday. "They have good pitchers, a good
staff and a young team. It was good to get going against this
The Pirates are 0-2 for the first time since 2000 and now seem
as eager to get out of Pittsburgh as they were to get there
following seven weeks of spring training. They start a seven-game
trip Thursday in San Diego.
"It's still only two games, and two games at the beginning
don't count any more than two games at the end," Matt Lawton said.
"When it starts to get deeper is when you start to press."
Manager Lloyd McClendon, who hoped a good start would elevate
the confidence of his relatively young team, said, "You always
want to play well here. But it's only two games, it's not the end
of the world."
Wells, erratic during spring training, constantly left his
pitches over the plate as five of the first seven Brewers batters
reached base. Spivey doubled and Lyle Overbay walked ahead of Lee's
double in the first, and Russell Branyan followed three batters
later with a two-run double. Spivey added a solo homer in the
fourth and a double in the sixth.
"To give them a 4-0 lead right out of the gate, I didn't give
us much of a chance," Wells said.
Wells lasted five innings, giving up six hits and six runs while
"He wasn't very good," McClendon said. "He got his pitches up
and it was not a good outing."
The left-handed hitting Branyan is expected to get the majority
of starts at third base, but didn't start the opener so the
right-handed hitting Jeff Cirillo could face Pirates left-hander
Oliver Perez. Cirillo responded with a double and homer.
Davis was much more effective than Wells, allowing two hits over
five shutout innings ahead of Tike Redman's two-run homer in the
sixth. Davis gave up four hits and two runs and struck out five
Like opening-day starter Ben Sheets, Davis is expected to start
three times in the Brewers' first 10 games because the team has
three off-days during the first two weeks of the season.
The game was one of nine Pirates afternoon home games, up
from four last season. ... Pirates 2B Jose Castillo was lifted with
a strained oblique in his left side after batting in the second.
... Redman's homer was only the 15th allowed by Davis in 35 starts
over the last two seasons. ... Wells made only his second start
since Aug. 15. He missed most of the final two months of last
season with a sore elbow.