That's why his advice to the Pirates would be this: Better enjoy this while it lasts.
Rob Mackowiak hit his second career grand slam and drove in five runs and the Pirates won their ninth in a row against the Marlins in Pittsburgh, roughing up Florida starter Brian Moehler in a 9-1 victory Wednesday night.
Florida extended its longest losing streak in an opposing NL city since dropping nine in a row in Philadelphia in 2000-01. The club record for consecutive road losses in one city is 11 in Cincinnati from 1998-2000 -- when McKeon managed the Reds.
"We'd come in just like this and it seemed like we got every break in the book against the Marlins," McKeon said. "And then it stopped and the pendulum swung and it was tough."
Jack Wilson went 4-for-4 and scored twice and his aggressive base running led to the final run against Moehler (2-3), who came into the game with a 1.97 ERA -- the fourth lowest in the NL -- before giving up five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Pittsburgh's Josh Fogg (4-3) made his most effective start in nearly a month, limiting the Marlins to one run and five hits in six innings. He had allowed at least two runs in each of his last four starts since holding Arizona to one run in seven innings on May 7.
"We're playing good baseball right now," Fogg said. "Maybe when they come here they don't have a lot of confidence, and that's good for us."
The Pirates began the four-game series with an NL-worst 7-13 record at home, but will go for a sweep Thursday night against Marlins eight-game winner Dontrelle Willis. The Pirates haven't lost at home to Florida since an 11-1 decision on Sept. 8, 2002.
"I wish we could bottle this and do it against the rest of the league," manager Lloyd McClendon said.
And it's not just Pittsburgh that's beating the Marlins -- they've dropped seven of eight to fall a game behind Atlanta in the NL East. The Braves won in Washington 5-4.
"The last thing we want to do is start pressing or trying to do too much," Carlos Delgado said. "So far we've played pretty good baseball. And we know that over six months, there are going to be times when you're not playing good. The sign of a good team is to bounce back."
McKeon agreed, saying, "You've just got to bear with it. The same things that happened to us are going to happen for us before the year is over."
Mackowiak, who hit .391 in May, had a run-scoring grounder in the second, then hit his second career grand slam in the seventh, off Guillermo Mota, to make it 9-1. The Pirates had loaded the bases without hitting the ball out of the infield on groundball singles by Jason Bay and Jose Castillo and a Daryle Ward walk.
Mackowiak's other career grand slam was a game-winning shot May 28, 2004, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cubs, on the day his wife gave birth to the couple's first child. That same night, he hit a tying two-run shot in the ninth inning of the second game, which the Pirates went on to win.
This grand slam wasn't nearly as dramatic, after Matt Lawton and Tike Redman had given Fogg a 5-1 lead with two-run singles in consecutive innings against Moehler, who hadn't allowed more than two runs in any of his 11 previous games this season -- including seven starts.
"We got some timely hitting, we moved guys over, we did all the things you have to do to beat teams like this," Mackowiak said.
Humberto Cota and Wilson doubled ahead of Lawton's single in the fifth, and Mackowiak and Wilson singled and scored on Redman's pinch-hit single in the sixth. Wilson scored from first base on the single, failing to stop at third after he saw right fielder Juan Encarnacion preparing to throw to second rather than the plate.
"Those are the things we need to do to close the gap against the big-market teams," McClendon said.
Wilson, who spent most of the last two months batting below .200, has six consecutive hits over two games to improve his average to .224.
Salomon Torres followed Fogg with three scoreless relief innings for his first save since July 8, 2003, against Milwaukee and the third of his career.
Moehler is winless in his last three starts. ... Florida is 3-12 in PNC Park, which opened in 2001. ... Fogg didn't allow a homer after giving up nine in his first nine starts. ... The Pirates are 20-16 since starting the season 4-11.
|Players of the Game|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.321|
|a- Damion Easley, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
|Juan Pierre, CF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.260|
|b- Jeff Conine, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.296|
|Miguel Cabrera, LF||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.355|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.313|
|Juan Encarnacion, RF-CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.264|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.201|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.283|
|Brian Moehler, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.071|
|Travis Smith, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Joe Dillon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.273|
|Guillermo Mota, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matt Perisho, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-lined out for Castillo in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Pierre in the 8th|
|c-grounded into a double play for Smith in the 7th|
|RBI - Mike Lowell (20)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Lowell (10)|
|SB - Juan Pierre (10, 2nd base off Fogg/Cota)|
|CS - Luis Castillo (2, 2nd base by Fogg/Cota)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - A. Gonzalez-Delgado|
|Brian Moehler (L,2-3)||5.1||10||5||5||2||1||0||2.59|
|IBB - Ward by Brian Moehler|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 88-59, Travis Smith 6-4, Guillermo Mota 36-24, Matt Perisho 11-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 11-3, Travis Smith 1-0, Guillermo Mota 1-0, Matt Perisho 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 27, Travis Smith 2, Guillermo Mota 8, Matt Perisho 4|
|Matt Lawton, RF||4||0||1||2||1||0||2||.253|
|Michael Restovich, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Freddy Sanchez, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.272|
|Jason Bay, LF||5||1||2||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Daryle Ward, 1B||3||2||2||0||2||1||0||.275|
|Jose Castillo, 2B||5||1||2||0||0||0||5||.327|
|Rob Mackowiak, CF||4||2||2||5||0||0||1||.336|
|Humberto Cota, C||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.253|
|Jack Wilson, SS||4||2||4||0||0||0||0||.234|
|Josh Fogg, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.111|
|a- Tike Redman, PH||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||.229|
|Salomon Torres, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|a-singled for Fogg in the 6th|
|2B - Jason Bay (14, Moehler), Daryle Ward (9, Moehler), Jack Wilson (8, Moehler)|
|3B - Jack Wilson (4, Mota)|
|HR - Rob Mackowiak (5, Mota)|
|SH - Josh Fogg (2)|
|RBI - Matt Lawton 2 (24), Rob Mackowiak 5 (26), Tike Redman 2 (13)|
|SB - Jason Bay (4, 2nd base off Mota/Lo Duca), Tike Redman (2, 2nd base off Smith/Lo Duca)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - J. Wilson-Castillo-Ward|
|PB - Humberto Cota (3)|
|Josh Fogg (W,4-3)||6||5||1||1||2||2||0||4.12|
|Salomon Torres (S,1)||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||2.88|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Fogg 101-63, Salomon Torres 31-21|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Fogg 9-6, Salomon Torres 5-3|
|Batters Faced - Josh Fogg 24, Salomon Torres 10|
|Attendance - 15487|
|Game Time - 2:35|
|Temperature - 74|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Brian O'Nora|