MILWAUKEE -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle needed to take another look at Brewers starter Zack Greinke, so between innings he slipped into the clubhouse to watch the replay monitor.
The 2009 AL Cy Young winner was picture perfect no matter the view.
"He had all four pitches working, good command, very impressive outing," Hurdle said.
Milwaukee built a 4-0 lead off Paul Maholm (6-13) before the Pirates rallied for two runs to chase Greinke, only to have Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder answer right back with consecutive homers.
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"That was a good push back for us. That is why we wanted a shut down inning," Hurdle said. "I felt that we could go out there and get a shut down inning and take a crack at it in the ninth. That didn't happen."
Milwaukee won its 10th straight at Miller Park against Pittsburgh and is a major league best 42-15 at home this year. The Pirates are 11 games back in the NL Central and continue their skid out of contention with their 14th loss in 17 games.
"They are hot right now, we are not," Maholm said. "Whenever you are hot, everything goes your way. When you are not, it just seems like the smallest thing is magnified a ton."
Greinke is 8-0 with a 3.36 ERA in 10 starts in Milwaukee this year. He allowed a first-inning single to Xavier Paul before retiring 11 straight -- including five consecutive strikeouts to finish two short of the franchise record set by Steve Woodard in 1999.
Greinke struck out nine and retired 11 straight at one point as Milwaukee maintained its four-game lead over St. Louis in the division race.
Pittsburgh finally figured out Greinke with run-scoring doubles by Michael McKenry and Andrew McCutchen in the eighth.
But Braun, who also hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth, led off the bottom of the inning with a homer and Fielder hit another fastball from Joe Beimel to right field for his 28th home run the season.
Jonathan Lucroy added a two-out RBI single off Jose Veras for the final margin.
"They capitalize on opportunities. Offensively at home, they got a lot of confidence," Hurdle said. "They never feel like they are out of an at bat, out of a count. I have been on some teams like that and it is a strong feeling to have."
Pittsburgh trailed 4-0 when Josh Wilson singled in a run in the second, Casey McGehee tripled in two more in the third and Braun hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The Pirates are 3-34 in Milwaukee since 2007.
"Until we win a series or we do something good here, obviously we are going to have to answer the same questions," Maholm said.
Pittsburgh went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. ... Maholm lost his fourth straight. ... The Pirates activated RHP Ross Ohlendorf from the 60-day disabled list and immediately optioned him to Triple-A Indianapolis. Ohlendorf has been out since April with a strained shoulder. ... Brewers RHP Marco Estrada (2-8, 4.80 ERA) faces RHP Kevin Correia (12-10, 4.78) in Saturday's game. Estrada is starting after LHP Chris Narveson was placed on the 15-day DL after cutting his thumb and needing eight stitches.