Pirates Snap Losing Skid
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Jeff Karstens pitched seven-plus innings before leaving with an injury and the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
Karstens (5-3) gave up seven hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four for his first win in nine career starts against Milwaukee.
Karstens also had an RBI single and scored during Pittsburgh’s four-run fifth inning, but left with an injured right groin after the first two Brewers singled in the eighth.
There was no immediate word on the severity of Karstens’ injury.
Pedro Alvarez had two hits for the Pirates, who are one game behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot.
Shaun Marcum (5-4) did not allow an earned run in his first start since June 14 but took the loss due to two errors in the Pirates’ fifth.
Aramis Ramirez had three hits for the Brewers, who had won four in a row.
Earlier this season, Karstens spent more than two months on the disabled list due to hip and shoulder issues. He improved to 5-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts since he came off the DL.
No Brewers baserunner advanced past second base while Karstens was in the game. He appeared to be in pain Nyjer Morgan’s infield single put runners on first and second with no outs in the eighth.
Tony Watson came on and got Norichika Aoki to ground into a forceout, and Jason Grilli struck out Rickie Weeks and got Ryan Braun to bounce out.
Closer Joel Hanrahan worked the ninth in a non-save situation, loading the bases before striking out Morgan to close out the Pirates’ seventh shutout.
Pittsburgh broke loose in the fifth after errors by center fielder Carlos Gomez and shortstop Jeff Bianchi, who was recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day.
Michael McKenry had an RBI double and scored on Karstens single. Jose Tabata followed with an RBI double and scored when Travis Snider singled.
Marcum threw 88 pitches, two fewer than manager Ron Roenicke said was his pitch limit.
Tabata left the game before the sixth with discomfort in his left groin. … The Brewers were held scoreless for the 10th time this season. … Pittsburgh scored a game’s first run for only the fourth time in 23 August games. … The crowd of 37,460 was the 15th sellout of the season at PNC Park. The ballpark record is 19 in its 2001 inaugural season. … Bianchi singled in the eighth and ninth innings for his first two major league hits. The Brewers outrighted RHP Mike McClendon to Triple-A late Friday night. … LHP Erik Bedard will start for the Pirates on Sunday. He allowed five runs in 3 2-3 innings of a June 2 outing against Milwaukee. He is tied for the most losses in the majors (13). The Brewers’ RHP Mike Rogers earned his first major league win in his most recent start Monday.