MILWAUKEE (AP) - Kevin Correia came in with the most road wins in the majors. It wasn't enough to carry the Pittsburgh Pirates to a much needed victory.
Marco Estrada pitched five innings in a spot start, combining with four relievers on a three-hitter, and Yuniesky Betancourt homered to carry the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers to a 1-0 victory over the Pirates on Saturday.
``I threw pretty well,' Correia said after allowing one run on seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. ``They had guys on base most innings, but for the most part, it wasn't anything serious.'
After Betancourts' second inning solo shot, Correia held the Brewers in check, working out of his biggest jam when Milwaukee had runners at first and third with two out.
Coreia (12-11) said he missed his spot with a fastball that Betancourt hit for his ninth home run this season.
``(It) just ran kind of back over the middle,' he said.
That was his only mistake, but it cost him.
The Brewers ended up 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
``I was able to get out of all the jams,' he said. ``So, that's good.'
Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, who earned his 34th save by working around a leadoff triple in the ninth, completed the shutout.
``Hitting is contagious, not hitting is contagious,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We seem to be on the other side of that right now.'
Pinch-hitter Xavier Paul tripled to center leading off the ninth, but Andrew McCutchen and Matt Diaz both grounded out with the infield drawn in, leaving Paul at third.
After Garrett Jones walked, Axford struck out Neil Walker swinging, but the ball trickled away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who pounced on it and threw to first to end the game.
Hurdle tipped his cap to Axford, but really thought his team should have been able to plate a run.
``He's got a quality fastball, big-time breaking ball,' Hurdle said of the Brewers' closer. ``Unfortunately, we weren't able to produce when we had the opportunity. We needed to find a way to score that run and we didn't do it. You give their closer some credit, but that's an opportunity that we need to cash in.'
Estrada (3-8) took the mound for Chris Narveson, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a cut thumb on his throwing hand.
Correia lost for the second time this season at Miller Park. He worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed seven hits.
Estrada retired the first seven batters before Ronny Cedeno lined a single to left with one out in the third. He advanced on Correia's sacrifice, but second was as far as any Pirate got in five innings as Estrada caught McCutchen looking to end the inning.
He retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth before being lifted for Zack Greinke, who pinch hit for him in the bottom of the fifth.
Estrada struck out five in his fifth start and 33rd appearance of the season. His other win came April 6, the same day his contract was selected from Triple-A Nashville. He beat Atlanta at home in a start for Greinke who was on the disabled list with a cracked left rib.
Narveson needed eight stitches to close a deep slice across the top of the thumb on his throwing hand. He cut it Tuesday while using scissors to repair his glove.
Betancourt fouled off the first two pitches from Correia before sending the third to the bleachers in left for his ninth home run of the season.
The Pirates had been providing more than six runs in support of Correia, but came up empty against Estrada and company.
Milwaukee (69-51) improved to a major league-best (43-15) at home with the victory, the 11th win in their last 12 games at Miller Park.
It was Milwaukee's 11th straight win and 33rd in 35 games when Pittsburgh visits, dating to May 4, 2007.
Notes: The Pirates placed 1B Derrek Lee on the 15-day disabled list before the game. He broke a bone in his left wrist when he was hit by Chicago's Carlos Marmol on Aug. 3. The move is retroactive to Aug. 10. Lee, who was acquired from Baltimore on July 30, missed four games, but returned Monday and played two games in San Francisco. He was batting .278 with two home runs and three RBIs in five games since the trade. ... INF Josh Harrison was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. He went 25-for-95 (.263) with five RBIs and 12 runs scored in 30 games in two previous stints this season. ... RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 3.56) starts Sunday for the Pirates. He has gone 6-2 with a 3.29 ERA in his 10 starts on the road this season, including wins in fours of his last five decisions. ... RHP Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.62) makes his 25th start of the season Sunday and second career against the Pirates who he beat 6-0 on April 13 at PNC Park. He has made 14 quality starts this season during which the team is 12-12. ... Pittsburgh is now 30-30 on the road this season. ... The Pirates have been shut out 11 times this season. ... The Pirates go for victory No. 57 on Sunday. If they succeed, they tie their win mark of last season.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved