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Milwaukee at Pittsburgh

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Milwaukee (48-37)000210000360
Pittsburgh (38-47) «01301010x6100

LaRoche, Gorzelanny too much for All-Star Sheets, Brew Crew

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- This is the Adam LaRoche the Pittsburgh Pirates expected when they traded with Atlanta to get him last winter. They can only wonder where they would be in the NL Central standings if they had this LaRoche all season.

LaRoche homered twice and Tom Gorzelanny outpitched Ben Sheets as the Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 on Thursday, handing the division leaders their third consecutive loss.

LaRoche, who had been mired in a three-month slump, hit a two-run homer in the third off Sheets and a solo homer off reliever Carlos Villanueva in the seventh. LaRoche also doubled ahead of Xavier Nady's RBI single in the fifth.

LaRoche has jumped his average from .164 on May 12 to .242. The first baseman is 16-for-32 with five doubles, five homers and 11 RBI in his last eight games.

"This doesn't happen all the time, and when it does you've got to ride it as long as you can," LaRoche said.

Five of the Pirates' eight hits off Sheets went for extra bases. The All-Star gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings and lost for the first time in seven decisions, striking out six and walking one. Sheets had been 9-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 11 starts since May 1.

"It was throwing marshmallows," said Sheets, who didn't blame a nearly 2½-hour rain delay for his performance. "There wasn't anything on the ball. I threw marshmallows but, when they hit it, it didn't sound like marshmallows. They were loud."

Ryan Doumit's homer, his sixth, put the Pirates up 1-0. They added three runs in the third when Nate McLouth walked ahead of LaRoche's drive into the right-field bleachers off a hanging curveball, and Nady doubled and came home on Jason Bay's RBI single.

LaRoche, hitting third for the first time this season, went 7-for-15 with three homers, three doubles and six RBI in the four-game series.

"It feels a lot better than it did two months ago," LaRoche said. "I always knew it was coming but it's nice to finally show that I should be here, and I like being the guy in the big spot. The guy who's up there with two outs and a couple of guys on."

Gorzelanny (9-4), making a final but unsuccessful pitch to be voted onto the NL All-Star team in fan balloting, gave up Geoff Jenkins' two-run homer in the fourth. He allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked two.

"You could tell early he didn't have his best stuff, but he found a way to fight through it," Doumit said. "He finally found it in the fifth or sixth inning."

Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.

It was a bad day all around for the Brewers, who also lost center fielder Bill Hall to a right ankle sprain when he climbed the wall trying to pull down Doumit's solo homer leading off the second. The Brewers aren't certain how long he will be out, but his high ankle sprain is the most severe form of the injury.

Hall planted his foot in the wall's padding to boost his jump. He got so high up the wall, he wasn't anticipating how long it would take to get down and he landed awkwardly.

"Everything was good except for the landing," he said. "I wasn't prepared to land. ... Hopefully, I'm a quick healer."

Jenkins replaced Hall and homered two innings later.

After winning five consecutive series, the NL Central-leading Brewers dropped their second in a row by losing three of four in Pittsburgh. They lost two of three last weekend against the Cubs and have dropped five of seven overall. The Brewers are 19-40 in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001, with 12 losses in their last 16 games.

"It's tough, there's no ands, ifs or buts about it," Sheets said of playing in Pittsburgh. "It always has been. If we knew what it was, we'd change it."

Despite beating a winning-record team in a series for the first time this season, the Pirates are 10 games behind in the division.

"We'll see where this leads us," manager Jim Tracy said. "There's a lot of season left to play."

Notes

  • The game started after a rain delay of nearly 2½ hours.
  • Milwaukee's Corey Hart ran his hitting streak to 21 games with a double in the fifth. He is 33-for-96 (.344) during the streak.
  • The Brewers have dropped three in a row for the first time since June 6-9.
  • Milwaukee C Damian Miller, who had 11 RBI in his last two starts, was 0-for-2.
  • Milwaukee has homered in 14 consecutive games.
  • Hall returned to Milwaukee to see doctors there rather than accompany the Brewers to Washington.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Ben Sheets doesn't feel like an All-Star, yielding five runs on eight hits over six innings.  (AP)
Ben Sheets doesn't feel like an All-Star, yielding five runs on eight hits over six innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

G. Jenkins
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart, RF-CF4110010 .311
J.J. Hardy, SS4021000 .286
Ryan Braun, 3B3100112 .340
Bill Hall, CF1000010 .271
    Geoff Jenkins, LF3122000 .273
Kevin Mench, LF-RF4010001 .273
Tony Graffanino, 1B4000001 .249
Damian Miller, C2000110 .281
Rickie Weeks, 2B3000002 .227
Ben Sheets, P2000020 .081
   a- Craig Counsell, PH1000000 .241
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
Totals3136326  
a-popped out for Sheets in the 7th
Batting
2B - Corey Hart (15, Gorzelanny)
HR - Geoff Jenkins (13, Gorzelanny)
RBI - J.J. Hardy (53), Geoff Jenkins 2 (37)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (13)
Team LOB - 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Ben Sheets (L,10-4) 6855162 3.41
Carlos Villanueva 1211001 2.75
Derrick Turnbow 1000100 3.58
Pitches-Strikes - Ben Sheets 101-67, Carlos Villanueva 22-12, Derrick Turnbow 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ben Sheets 4-8, Carlos Villanueva 1-2, Derrick Turnbow 2-0
Batters Faced - Ben Sheets 27, Carlos Villanueva 5, Derrick Turnbow 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF3100100 .238
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4010001 .295
Adam LaRoche, 1B4333001 .242
Xavier Nady, RF4131001 .285
Ryan Doumit, C4111013 .302
    Shawn Chacon, P0000000 .300
    Matt Capps, P00000001.000
Jason Bay, LF3011101 .256
Jose Bautista, 3B4000011 .258
Jack Wilson, SS4010010 .261
Tom Gorzelanny, P3000031 .059
    Ronny Paulino, C0000000 .228
Totals33610626  
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (18, Sheets), Adam LaRoche (23, Sheets), Xavier Nady (14, Sheets)
HR - Adam LaRoche 2 (13, Sheets, Villanueva), Ryan Doumit (6, Sheets)
RBI - Adam LaRoche 3 (51), Xavier Nady (47), Ryan Doumit (20), Jason Bay (52)
2-OUT RBI - Adam LaRoche (21), Jason Bay (12)
SB - Nate McLouth (5, 2nd base off Sheets/D. Miller), Jason Bay (2, 2nd base off Turnbow/D. Miller)
CS - Jose Bautista (2, 2nd base by Turnbow/D. Miller)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Chacon-J. Wilson-LaRoche, J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
Pittsburgh Pirates
Tom Gorzelanny (W,9-4) 7433251 3.10
Shawn Chacon (H,4) 1100010 3.76
Matt Capps (S,9) 1100000 2.42
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Gorzelanny 100-56, Shawn Chacon 9-8, Matt Capps 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Gorzelanny 9-7, Shawn Chacon 1-0, Matt Capps 1-1
Batters Faced - Tom Gorzelanny 27, Shawn Chacon 3, Matt Capps 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15134
Game Time - 2:23
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Jim Wolf