Brewers still struggling, lose 5-2 to Pirates
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Nothing has gone very well for the Milwaukee Brewers so far this season.
Such was the case Saturday as the team continued to struggle at the plate, while stand-in pitcher Mike Fiers was tagged for three home runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Brewers 5-2.
"It's everything," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We pitch well and maybe the offense isn't scoring, or just the opposite. We need to play better as a team. Everything needs to get better."
Milwaukee is 5-17 in May and has not won back-to-back games since April 29-30 at home against Pittsburgh.
Roenicke said he is not sure why the Brewers are not scoring more runs, despite having five hitters batting over .300, including shortstop Jean Segura, who is hitting .341. Milwaukee has only scored two runs in each of its last three games.
"That's still a good offense we're putting out there," he said. "I look at the lineup, right it down every day and when you look at it and you look at some of the numbers that we're putting up, I expect us to score runs. It's puzzling."
Fiers (1-3), starting in place of Kyle Lohse (elbow) for Milwaukee, lasted four innings, giving up four runs, including three home runs, and five hits.
Fiers said when he fell behind in the count, the Pirates made him pay.
"For the most part I felt great today, but there were those three pitches." He said. "I had a 2-0 count, a 3-1 and a 1-0 -- the home runs. So, I've got to be better there. I can't just give in."
Jeff Locke (5-1) pitched six scoreless innings for the Pirates, giving up just three hits and struck out a season-high seven, six days after pitching seven scoreless innings in a win over Houston. It was his fourth straight win.
"You're seeing him grow up before your eyes," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
Hurdle said he was most impressed with the fact that Locke did not have his best stuff against the Brewers, but still held the potent lineup scoreless.
"To be able to maneuver through that lineup without his best stuff is something," Hurdle said. "He is getting a little better every day. This has to be a big boost to his confidence."
The Pirates grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning as McCutchen hit his seventh home run. It was McCutchen's fourth home run off Fiers during his career and his third straight at-bat against Fiers in which he hit a home run.
Pittsburgh increased its lead to 3-0 in the second inning on a two-run shot by Alvarez and Walker hit a solo homer in the fourth.
Gomez hit his seventh home run of the year leading off the seventh inning off Pirates reliever Justin Wilson to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 4-1.
Alvarez added his 10th leading off the ninth inning, a towering shot to the top of the second level in right field.
Gomez hit his second home run of the game in the ninth inning to trim the lead to 5-2. It was Gomez's first career multi-home run game.
Notes: Brewers closer Jim Henderson was placed on the disabled list. He injured his right hamstring Friday while delivering a pitch that led to the second out in the ninth inning. He gave way to Francisco Rodriguez who earned a save in the Brewers' 2-1 win... Pirates infielder John McDonald who was put on the 15-day disabled list May 15 with a lower back strain, will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday at Triple A Indianapolis. ... Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-4) will face Pirates LHP Wandy Rodriguez (5-2) in the series finale Sunday.