Marcum throws 7 shutout innings to lift Brewers
PITTSBURGH – Shaun Marcum pitched seven shutout innings, Prince Fielder homered for the third time in four games and the Milwaukee Brewers won their sixth in seven games, 6-0 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Marcum (2-1) was perfect through four and kept the Pirates off-balance with his changeup, allowing only four singles with four strikeouts and a walk. Acquired in an offseason trade with Toronto to bolster Milwaukee's rotation, Marcum lowered his ERA to 2.55 through three starts.
Zach Braddock, Kameron Loe and Mitch Stetter finished up Milwaukee's third shutout this season and second in three games.
The Pirates have lost four of five at home after beginning the season by winning consecutive road series for the first time since 2007. Pittsburgh starter Kevin Correia (2-1) took a no-hitter into the sixth, but his outing quickly unraveled from there.
On a night when the Penguins opened up the NHL playoffs across town, the announced crowd was 8,755 — but only about 4,000 actually showed up. Early on, those who did thought they might be witnesses to history with both starters working on no-hitters by the midway point.
It took less than an hour to get through the first 4½ innings. The only two baserunners to that point were Rickie Weeks, whom Correia walked leading off the game, and Casey McGehee, who drew a walk off Correia in the fifth.
Correia and Marcum combined to retire 24 consecutive batters in between.
Marcum was perfect through four until Lyle Overbay and Matt Diaz led off the fifth with consecutive singles.
Correia's no-hitter was broken up by Jonathan Lucroy's double to lead off the sixth. Marcum followed by attempting to sacrifice him to third but ended up reaching and was credited with a single.
With one out, Carlos Gomez's high sacrifice fly down the right-field line was deep enough to score Lucroy, who was making his season debut after being on the disabled list with a broken finger.
Ryan Braun followed with a single, setting up Fielder's homer on an 0-1 pitch into the bullpen in left-center. The reigning NL player of the week, Fielder has at least a hit and an RBI in each of his past six games, totaling three home runs and 14 RBIs in that time.
Traditionally a pull hitter, none of the left-handed hitting first baseman's three home runs this season have gone to right field. Twenty-two of his 194 career homers have come against the Pirates, most of any opponent.
Fielder has 10 RBIs in his past four games.
Yuniesky Betancourt added an RBI double in the seventh — ending Correia's night not long after his bid for a no-hitter ended — and Betancourt would score on a Marcum groundout.
Correia's final stat line belied his impressive first five innings: Six-plus innings, six runs — four earned — five hits, two walks and a strikeout.
Pittsburgh leadoff hitter Jose Tabata failed to have a hit for the first time in 11 games this season.
The Pirates (5-6), who haven't had a winning season since 1992, fell under .500 for the first time this season. Last season, they entered an April home series against the Brewers at 7-5 but were swept and outscored 36-1 and never were at .500 again.
NOTES: Pirates RHP Evan Meek (shoulder) pitched for the first time in seven days, a perfect ninth. ... Milwaukee is 47-17 vs. Pittsburgh since 2007, the best winning percentage for any team against a divisional opponent. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said RHP Yovani Gallardo will start on Saturday and RHP Marco Estrada on Sunday. ... The Pirates also solidified their rotation moving forward: RHP Charlie Morton on Friday and RHP James McDonald on Saturday, with Sunday officially listed as "to be announced." RHP Jeff Karstens is likely to start if he is not needed in long duty in the coming days. ... Pirates LHP reliever Joe Beimel could come off the disabled list as early as Friday if he feels well after throwing Wednesday and pitching in a rehabilitation assignment Monday and Tuesday.