MILWAUKEE (AP) - Kevin Correia's road dominance ended quickly.
Correia, perfect in five road starts this season, surrendered four runs in the first 12 pitches and six overall in a 9-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
``I've had a few starts with only one bad inning with only one bad pitch, but today was the first day that I didn't feel like I could do what I wanted to do,' Correia said. ``I felt so good the first nine starts, but today was the first day that I couldn't get the ball where I wanted to get it.'
Correia (5-4) struggled in his attempt to become the first Pirates pitcher to win six games by mid-May since 1991, when Neal Heaton started 6-0 and Doug Drabek was 6-1.
Correia came in 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five road starts this season, but there weren't many signs of his road success in this outing.
Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading 12th homer, tripled and drove in four runs for Milwaukee, helping a shaky Zack Greinke get the win and complete the three-game sweep.
Casey McGehee and Jonathan Lucroy also homered as the Brewers beat Pittsburgh for the ninth straight time at Miller Park. The Pirates have lost five in a row overall.
Greinke (2-1) made his third start for the Brewers after missing more than a month because of a broken rib. He was flawless for the first four innings. He gave up five runs in the fifth as the Pirates pulled to 6-5, and left after the inning.
``On a different day where they don't open it like they did, it is a completely different ball game,' Pirates catcher Chris Snyder said.
The Brewers scored four runs in the first 12 pitches of the game, as Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez singled and Braun followed with his home run.
Two batters later, Casey McGehee hit a deep, high fly. The ball just cleared the 400-foot sign and Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen lost his glove over the wall while leaping trying to catch it. A Brewers employee retrieved McCutchen's glove from behind the wall and flipped it back to him.
``You have to be careful against them,' Correia said. ``Most teams, you can pitch to a big part of the park and you are not going to give up a lot of home runs. But against a guy like Braun in the first, he can go to the opposite field. In a park like this against a team like this, you really have to be perfect with your locations, or they are going to clip you a couple of times.'
Braun made it 5-0 in the second with a two-out triple past McCutchen - Braun has 11 RBIs in his last five games.
McGehee doubled to lead off the third and scored on Lucroy's two-out double.
``He's a guy that seems to really like to get ahead in the count, and our approach was to really not let him do that,' Braun said of Correia. ``We just faced him a couple weeks ago, and he had some success against us then. You learn from everything you go through.'
Greinke, however, nearly gave it all back. He cruised early, not allowing a hit and facing the minimum through four innings, mixing a fastball in the low- to mid-90s mph and changeups in the mid-60s. But Pittsburgh rallied for five runs in the fifth.
Neil Walker led off with a homer, capping an impressive 12-pitch at-bat. Then with two outs, the Pirates got five straight hits. Chris Snyder, Ronny Cedeno and Steve Pearce all doubled, McCutchen tripled and Jose Tabata singled to make it 6-5.
``I really feel the nail in his tire was Walker's 12-pitch at-bat,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ``I think that took a lot of steam out of him. From that point on, he lost something along the way and we were able to take advantage of some balls he left over the plate.'
Lucroy made it 8-5 in the fifth with two-run homer. McGehee reached on a two-base error by third baseman Pedro Alvarez and scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-5 in the seventh.
``We fought hard to get back, and they opened it up on us,' Snyder said.
The Pirates made it interesting in the ninth with a run on three straight singles by Alvarez, Brandon Wood and Cedeno off Brewers closer John Axford. But shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt robbed Ryan Doumit of a single up the middle, turning a grounder into an out, and Tabata grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end it.
NOTES: Snyder was ejected for arguing a third-strike call in the sixth. ``It was just a disagreement. I thought the ball was in,' Snyder said. ``I overreacted a bit probably, but it was a ball that I felt was inside.' ... The Brewers have won 33 of 36 against the Pirates at home since 2007. ... It was Military Appreciation Day at Miller Park, with about 15,000 members of the military and their families expected at the game.
The Associated Press News Service
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