MILWAUKEE (AP) - Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle insists Miller Park in Milwaukee isn't haunted.
But the stadium has been the Pirates' own house of horrors the last several seasons and Pittsburgh found a new way to lose Sunday.
Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton pitched a shutout into the eighth inning before the Milwaukee Brewers used a wild pitch to help tie the game and then a a game-ending sacrifice fly to grab a 2-1 win over the struggling Pirates and a series sweep.
Jose Veras relieved Morton with a runner on second in the eighth inning and retired Casey McGehee on a flyout. Joel Hanrahan was then brought in and struck out Nyjer Morgan, but the ball bounced away from catcher Michael McKenry and Morgan reached first base. Hanrahan was charged with a wild pitch on the play.
Ryan Braun then singled up the middle to score pinch runner Jerry Hairston Jr. to tie the game 1-1. Hanrahan was able to get Prince Fielder to fly out to end the inning.
With one out in the 10th inning, George Kottaras singled to left field and Casey McGehee followed with a double. Morgan then hit the first pitch from Chris Resop (3-4) to deep right field and Kottaras scored easily for the win.
The Brewers have now won all eight games against the Pirates this season and 12 straight over the last two years at Miller Park. The last time the Pirates won at Miller Park was April 28, 2010. The Pirates have won just two of the team's last 36 games in Milwaukee.
``There is no lack effort out there, it is a lack of execution,' Hurdle said. ``When you play good teams, you've got to execute. We had a number of different situations today where we weren't able to do what the game asks you to do to add on runs and that catches up to you.'
Hanrahan said he made the pitch he wanted to on Morgan in the eighth inning.
``It is a tough pitch to handle,' he said. ``Wild pitch, it happens in the game. It is in the rulebook for a reason. I just didn't execute my pitch to the next guy.'
For his part, McKenry took full responsibility for the wild pitch.
``You can make 1,000 excuses over and over again,' he said. ``I'm not going to do that. It's my fault. I block it a 100 out of 100 times usually. I didn't today. It is on me.'
Takashi Saito (3-1) got the win for the Brewers as he pitched a scoreless 10th inning.
Shawn Marcum was solid for the Brewers as he gave us just one run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out five and walked two batters.
Morton gave up one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings. He was charged with a run in the eighth inning, ending his 24 innings scoreless streak. Morton struck out five and walked two.
The Pirates grabbed the lead in the first inning on Andrew McCutchen's RBI double.
Morton dominated the Brewers through the first five innings. After getting a double play to end the second inning, he retired eight of the next nine batters. The only player to reach base was Yuniesky Betancourt, who singled to open the fifth inning. But Betancourt was thrown out at second by McKenry on a failed hit and run.
NOTES: Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks took groundballs before the game. Weeks has been on the disabled list since severely spraining his left ankle July 27. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Weeks looked good, but he did not have a timetable for his return. ... Pirates RHP James McDonald will pitch the opener of the Pirates series against the St. Louis Cardinals in Pittsburgh. McDonald has won seven of his last 11 decisions after losing the first two starts of the season... Morton got his second hit of the season in the third inning, lining a double over Morgan's head. Both of his hits this season have been doubles.
The Associated Press News Service
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