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Pittsburgh at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (43-87)200100100481
Milwaukee (62-68) «30320000x8111

Brewers 8, Pirates 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- There still might be something for Trevor Hoffman to savor this year.

In a season that hasn't gone the way he hoped, baseball's all-time saves leader earned No. 599 Sunday as the Milwaukee Brewers completed a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with an 8-4 victory Sunday.

"Round numbers are really what baseball looks at," Hoffman said.

"If this is the last season, it would be hard to walk away knowing you are one shy of a big number," said the 42-year-old Hoffman, adding he has not decided whether to return for an 18th season in 2011. "But in the big picture it's still a body of work."

After converting 37 of 41 saves last year, Hoffman started the season without being able to consistently command his fastball and blew five early season saves to lose his closer's role to rookie John Axford. In his first 18 appearances, Hoffman had a 1-4 record with an 11.65 ERA.

"I had aspirations of this happening a little quicker, but we're standing here today under drastically different circumstances," he said.

After his poor start, Hoffman worked with pitching coach Rick Peterson and has had a 2.45 ERA in his last 27 appearances.

"I had to go out and figure out different ways of getting the job done, of trying to get back to being effective," Hoffman said. "For me, location is a big deal."

Axford is 7-1 with a 2.53 ERA and has converted 19 of 21 saves, but the rookie had pitched in two consecutive games. In addition, manager Ken Macha in recent weeks has allowed Hoffman to close games with leads of three runs or more in an effort to get him to 600 saves.

Hoffman entered the game with one out in the ninth and two runners on base, and retired both batters he faced to convert his eighth save in 13 chances this year.

Ryan Braun homered and went 4 for 4 while scoring three times for Milwaukee.

The Brewers roughed up Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton for eight runs in just 3 1-3 innings on a day where, for the first time, the retractable roof at Miller Park was positioned in an effort to diminish the shadows on the field.

The team said it consulted with umpiring crew chief Mike Reilly, then left two of the panels hanging over right field so the batter and pitcher were both in the shadows from the first pitch of the game.

"It made a big difference," Milwaukee's Casey McGehee said.

Hitters have complained for years that the shadows were particularly tough at Miller Park during day games.

"It's almost like hitting in the middle of a high school prom with a strobe light on," McGehee said. "It's not that you don't see the ball. It's that the spin is really hard to pick up. That makes it tough when you have to assume everything is a fastball and hope you can figure it out quick enough."

Macha made the suggestion to move the retractable panels, and said the team would continue to manipulate the shadows in the team's final three day games at Miller Park this year.

With the loss, Morton (1-10) becomes the fifth Pittsburgh pitcher with at least 10 losses -- the first time since 1954 the Pirates have had at least five hurlers with double-digit losses.

"We've been making history all year," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said of the dubious feat after his team fell to 43-87.

Morton was making his first major league appearance in three months. The right-hander saw his ERA climb to 10.03 in 11 starts by giving up eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits and a walk with one strikeout.

"It was bad. Frustrating," Morton said. "I have to shake it off."

"Obviously, the first start you get back you want to do better than I did today," he said.

Neil Walker, Ryan Doumit and Delwyn Young each homered off Milwaukee starter Dave Bush (7-11), but the right-hander only gave up four runs, three earned, and two walks with four strikeouts in seven innings to earn the win.

The Pirates have lost 13 consecutive road games.

The other Pirates pitchers with double-digit losses are Zach Duke (6-12), Paul Maholm (7-12), Ohlendorf (1-11) and Jeff Karstens (2-10).

Notes

  • Pirates RHP Evan Meek was hit on the right hand by a hard liner from Braun in the eighth inning and left the game with trainers gingerly holding his right arm. X-rays did not find any broken bones.
  • Morton opened the season in the rotation and made 10 starts before being placed on the DL in late May with shoulder fatigue. When he recovered, he was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
  • The 1954 pitchers who lost double-digit games were Max Surkont (9-18), Vern Law (9-13), Bob Friend (7-12), Dick Littlefield (10-11) and Paul LaPalme (4-10). That team went 53-101.
 
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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Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

D. Young
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, CF5000003 .312
Delwyn Young, RF5221000 .249
Neil Walker, 2B5112000 .298
Garrett Jones, 1B4010122 .245
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4000022 .233
Ryan Doumit, C2121200 .254
Lastings Milledge, LF3020000 .275
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000005 .245
Charlie Morton, P2000022 .000
    Daniel McCutchen, P0000000 .083
   a- Andy LaRoche, PH1000000 .213
    Brian Burres, P0000000 .214
    Evan Meek, P00000001.000
    Chan Ho Park, P0000000 .000
   b- Andrew McCutchen, PH0000100 .273
Totals3448446  
a-flied out for D. McCutchen in the 7th
b-walked for Park in the 9th
Batting
HR - Delwyn Young (6, Bush), Neil Walker (7, Bush), Ryan Doumit (11, Bush)
SH - Ronny Cedeno (6)
RBI - Delwyn Young (26), Neil Walker 2 (44), Ryan Doumit (37)
2-OUT RBI - Delwyn Young (15)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
PB - Ryan Doumit (7)
E - Charlie Morton (1, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton (L,1-10) 3.1987121 10.03
Daniel McCutchen 2.2000310 5.54
Brian Burres 1100000 5.70
Evan Meek 0.2100010 2.11
Chan Ho Park 0.1000000 5.56
HBP - Weeks (by Charlie Morton), Fielder (by Daniel McCutchen)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 82-52, Daniel McCutchen 44-25, Brian Burres 8-7, Evan Meek 12-7, Chan Ho Park 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 3-5, Daniel McCutchen 3-3, Brian Burres 2-1, Evan Meek 1-0
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 21, Daniel McCutchen 11, Brian Burres 4, Evan Meek 3, Chan Ho Park 1
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rickie Weeks, 2B4100021 .271
Joe Inglett, RF5110012 .275
Ryan Braun, LF4342100 .300
Prince Fielder, 1B4000004 .270
Casey McGehee, 3B2210201 .284
Chris Dickerson, CF3013100 .247
Alcides Escobar, SS4111003 .250
George Kottaras, C4031000 .208
Dave Bush, P3000012 .116
   a- Carlos Gomez, PH1000001 .229
    Zach Braddock, P0000000 .000
    Michael McClendon, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Totals34811744  
a-grounded out for Bush in the 7th
Batting
2B - George Kottaras (10, Morton)
HR - Ryan Braun (19, Morton)
RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (79), Chris Dickerson 3 (5), Alcides Escobar (37), George Kottaras (25)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Dickerson 2 (2), Alcides Escobar (15), George Kottaras (7)
SB - Alcides Escobar (10, 2nd base off Morton/Doumit)
PK - Ryan Braun (2, D. McCutchen)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Weeks-Escobar-Fielder
E - Casey McGehee (15, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dave Bush (W,7-11) 7743243 4.71
Zach Braddock 0.2000120 2.93
Michael McClendon (H,1) 0.2100100 1.86
Trevor Hoffman (S,8) 0.2000000 6.12
HBP - Milledge (by Zach Braddock)
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 111-71, Zach Braddock 16-9, Michael McClendon 14-7, Trevor Hoffman 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 9-8, Trevor Hoffman 2-0
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 30, Zach Braddock 4, Michael McClendon 4, Trevor Hoffman 2
Game Information
Attendance - 35733
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Chad Fairchild