Hardy's three-run homer clinches win for Suppan, Brewers

Fantasy stat: Hardy extended his hit streak to 16 games with an RBI single in the first. The shortstop also has 22 RBIs during the stretch.

Figure this: With a 20-10 mark, the Brewers are 10 games above .500 for the first time since 1998.

Did you see that?: On Cinco de Mayo, the Chorizo finished second to the Hot Dog in the Sausage Race.

Elias Says: Jeff Suppan's five wins are the most by a pitcher who switched teams in the offseason

-- ESPN.com news services

Brewers 6, Pirates 3

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- J.J. Hardy says the buzz around the Brewers has officially begun. Pirates reliever Matt Capps buzzed Prince Fielder in a different way.

No worries, Milwaukee isn't losing its cool on the field or in the clubhouse.

Jeff Suppan won his fifth straight start, Hardy hit a three-run homer and extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games and the Brewers beat the sloppy Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 on Saturday night.

At 20-10, the Brewers have the best record in the National League and are 10 games over .500 for the first time since 1998.

"We're not going to get too caught up in it," said Hardy, who had just finished an interview with a national TV program. "I don't think we're going to go out there and change anything that we're doing right now."

The Brewers certainly don't need to, and Suppan (5-2) has been a key reason why. The Brewers' prized free agent acquisition in the offseason lost his first two starts after signing a four-year, $42 million contract.

Since then, he's 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA.

"Our focus is really just winning today and getting ready to win tomorrow," Suppan said.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh (13-16) is struggling after a promising and couldn't do much of anything right Saturday, committing two errors and getting caught twice in rundowns between third and home in the sixth inning.

With the Pirates down 3-0, first baseman Adam LaRoche singled home a run to start the wild sixth. He then made two critical baserunning errors that cost the Pirates, starting when Ryan Doumit hit a sharp grounder off Suppan's right leg.

The ball nearly rolled into the Brewers dugout, but Fielder, the first baseman, grabbed it and caught LaRoche leaning off second base.

Jason Bay then broke from third to home in an effort to help LaRoche and got caught in a rundown. He was tagged out by catcher Damian Miller.

"That is a play they teach you starting in Little League; you have got to mirror that guy. Whoever is in front of you, even if he goes and you're out by a mile, you go and you mirror him," LaRoche said. "That is a mental error that can't happen in a game like that when we're not scoring a ton of runs."

LaRoche advanced to third on the play. He was retired in a rundown of his own on the next play off a chopper to Brewers' third baseman Tony Graffanino.

"It was a rough day on the bases today," LaRoche said.

Suppan then gave up an RBI double to Ronny Paulino to cut the lead to 3-2 before being pulled for left-handed specialist Brian Shouse, who got out of the bases loaded jam by striking out Chris Duffy on a changeup.

"Bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth inning versus an out and two men on is a completely differently scenario, completely different," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said.

Suppan, who hit an RBI single in the second, allowed two runs and eight hits, walking two and striking out five in his shortest outing this season.

Hardy hit his eighth homer of the season to left field in the seventh to put the game out of reach. Capps hit Fielder, the next batter, high on the right shoulder and was ejected by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez. Capps said he didn't think he should've been ejected, and Fielder was coy about the play after the game, even though Brewers manager Ned Yost called the play "fishy."

"That's fine," Fielder said. "J.J. already did the job, so whatever."

Xavier Nady hit a solo homer in the ninth and the Pirates got another runner to first, which caused the Brewers to bring in Francisco Cordero -- who got his 11th save with one pitch.

The Pirates have lost six of eight and Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke (1-3) once again struggled early. He has given up 12 runs in the first inning of his last five starts. He pitched five innings, giving up six hits and three runs while walking one and striking out one.

Milwaukee scored two unearned runs in the second after second baseman Freddy Sanchez was charged with an error on a groundball that squirted through the infield untouched. On the play, he tried to avoid Damian Miller on the base paths.

"If Freddy would have taken one more step and made contact with the runner, he'd been out," Tracy said.

But that's the way things have been going for Milwaukee.

"A lot of things are going right," Hardy said. "More things are going right for us than going wrong, that's for sure. It's nice."

Game notes
Suppan showed no ill-effects from being hit, sprinting back to the dugout after being pulled from the game. ... Jack Wilson's single in the first inning gave him 50 at Miller Park, fifth most among active visiting players. ... Brewers LF Geoff Jenkins and 3B Craig Counsell were out of the starting lineup for the third straight game with the Pirates using left-handed starters for each game of the series so far. Right-hander Tony Armas is expected to pitch the series finale.