MILWAUKEE (AP) - Pittsburgh won 15 more games than last season. It's a start for a franchise that's dealt with 19 consecutive losing years.
The Pirates fell behind early Wednesday night and lost 7-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers to finish at 72-90. Pittsburgh was in a tie for first place in the NL Central as late as July 25.
``We wanted more. You deal with the reality of the game and were shown why we didn't get more,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We got 72. That's what we got. And we've got a lot of work to do. Numerically, it's a step forward. It's like a wife asking her husband what kind of leftovers you want. It's still leftovers.'
Pittsburgh has lost at least 90 games seven straight years.
A lot of those games looked like this one.
Jonathan Lucroy and Corey Hart connected in the third and Carlos Gomez hit a three-run homer off Jeff Locke (0-3) in the fourth to put Milwaukee ahead 5-1.
Jerry Hairston added an RBI single in the fifth and Hart had a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the NL Central champions.
Pittsburgh scored in the sixth and eighth but never mounted a serious comeback.
``You'd like for it to end on a win, but we weren't able to get one,' center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. ``When I get the time to reminisce on what we've done over the season, I'm sure I'll have a lot of things that I can evaluate and figure out.
``Right now, just enjoying the moment with my teammates, having last goodbyes because you don't know who's going to be here and who's not.'
Pittsburgh was tied with St. Louis for first place on July 25. The next day, the Brewers began a stretch of 27 wins in 32 games to take a 10 1/2-game lead. The Pirates finished the year 24 games behind.
Still, Hurdle said he could look back on his first season in Pittsburgh and know there will be better days in the organization very soon.
``I enjoyed it,' Hurdle said. ``I enjoyed myself, I've got a much better feel for our organization and I'll learn more about it over the winter but I've got growth to do. I've got areas that I've got to improve in as well but it was a blast. I had a lot of fun.'
McCutchen, who hit .259 with 23 homers and 89 RBIs, said he'll come back stronger, too.
``We're gonna get some time to breathe. The season kind of flew by,' McCutchen said. ``There are a lot of things we did right and did well this year compared to last year. It's definitely not where we want to be but we are headed in the right direction.'
NOTES: Pirates 2B Neil Walker did not record an error in the final 56 games of the year, the longest streak in a season for Pittsburgh since Freddy Sanchez was perfect in 82 games in 2008. ... The Pirates' starting pitching staff finished with a 4.04 ERA, down from 5.00 last season. ... Pittsburgh went 25-47 after the All-Star break.
The Associated Press News Service
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