PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers rebounded from one of
their worst offensive performances with one of their best.
Jose Hernandez hit a three-run homer and the Brewers handed the
Pittsburgh Pirates their seventh straight loss, 10-3 Friday night. The Brewers had 15 hits in their first game since scoring just
two runs on 14 hits in a three-game series in Philadelphia. "I can't explain it at all,'' Manager Jerry Royster said.
"That's us. It's just amazing. I know the guys were pretty
embarrassed by yesterday's game. It's good to see them come back.'' The Brewers were shut out for seven innings on four hits in
Philadelphia on Thursday by Joe Roa, who hasn't pitched in the
majors since 1997. After that game, Milwaukee hitting coach Gary
Matthews said Roa shouldn't have lasted five innings. The Pirates, in a season-high losing skid, have allowed at least
10 hits in six consecutive games. They are a season-worst 18 games
under .500 (52-70). "It all starts with starting pitching,'' Pirates Manager Lloyd
McClendon said. "If you don't get good starting pitching, it's an
uphill battle and that's what it's been for the last week.'' The Brewers were leading 2-0 in the third inning when Mark
Loretta and Lenny Harris singled off Josh Fogg (11-8). Richie
Sexson then added an RBI single before Hernandez hit an 0-1 pitch
over the center-field fence for his 22nd homer and a 6-0 lead. Fogg allowed nine hits and eight runs --six earned -- in 5 1/3
innings despite striking out 10. He walked three. "Josh was good when he kept the ball down,'' McClendon said.
"He had a lot of trouble when he left balls up in the strike zone.
This outing was hard to figure. He struck out 10 and he got hit
hard. You normally don't see that.'' Ben Sheets (7-14) has won consecutive starts for just the second
time this season. He pitched the first seven innings, allowing two
runs on six hits. Sheets has frequently been the victim of poor run support but
the Brewers put him ahead in the first inning and then padded the
lead. "That was awesome,'' Sheets said. "We jumped out early and
really stayed on them the whole game. It was definitely fun to
watch.'' First baseman Kevin Young made two errors on the same play to
help Milwaukee to a pair of unearned runs in the first. Alex
Sanchez opened the game with a single and stole second. He went to
third when Young mishandled Harris' grounder and scored on Young's
wild throw. Matt Stairs had an RBI single to make it 2-0. Robert Machado, who had three hits, doubled in the sixth and
scored on Sanchez's triple. Pinch-hitter Izzy Alcantara hit his
second home run leading off the ninth. Machado added an RBI single,
in the ninth. Rob Mackowiak homered in the third for Pittsburgh, his 14th.
Pokey Reese had an RBI single in the seventh, extending his hitting
streak to 10 games. Left fielder Brian Giles, who leads the Pirates with 30 home
runs and 78 RBI, left the game in the fifth with a strained right
calf. He said he expects to miss two or three games. "It's been bothering me for a couple of weeks but this is the
first time I felt like I couldn't go,'' he said. Giles said he noticed the muscle tightening up when he tried to
steal third base in the fourth inning. "I had the base stolen but I was halfway to third when I felt
it and I had to slow down,'' he said.
Pirates catcher Jason Kendall got his 1,000 career hit in
the sixth inning. ... The Brewers batted .155 (14-for-90) in
Philadelphia and had two extra base hits in the series. ...
Milwaukee is 3-13 in road games since the All-Star break. ...
Sheets also won consecutive starts May 4 and 9, defeating Florida
and the Chicago Cubs. ... Sheets had been 0-2 in four starts
against Pittsburgh this year. ... The Pirates have also lost nine
of 10. ... Fogg's 10 strikeouts were a personal best and a season
high for a Pirates pitcher. ... Pirates LH Jimmy Anderson made his
first relief appearance, pitching the last two innings. He was
dropped from the rotation after losing to St. Louis on Tuesday. He
had made 74 consecutive starts since his last relief outing on July