Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rough Start to 2nd Half First Hit Doesn't Come until Fourth as Morton Struggles Brewers 4, Pirates 1

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rough Start to 2nd Half First Hit Doesn't Come until Fourth as Morton Struggles Brewers 4, Pirates 1

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE - With the All-Star Game pageantry over, the Pirates went to work Friday night on their difficult second-half schedule.

They face good teams and they face them on the road. The Milwaukee Brewers are not a good team, but have played better recently than their record would indicate. The Pirates lost the series opener Friday, 4-1, at Miller Park, unable to do anything against Brewers starter Mike Fiers.

Though the Brewers had a 38-52 record and were in last place in the National League Central Division entering the game, they won 10 of their final 14 games before the All-Star break, including eight in a row.

"They've played good baseball the last couple weeks," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said before the game. "They're swinging the bat, they have a good team. They have talent over there. So by no means will we come in here and not know that we got to put forth our best effort and play good baseball to win a game."

The Pirates' schedule stiffens after the All-Star break. After three games in Milwaukee, they head to Kansas City for three games against the Royals, one of two teams with a better record than the Pirates. They get the Washington Nationals, banged up but boasting one of the best starting rotations in the league, for four games at home, then head to Minnesota to face the second-place Twins, who were nine games better than .500 at the break.

After four games against the Reds in Cincinnati, whom the Pirates have a 2-7 record against this season, the Pirates face the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers at home before heading to St. Louis Aug. 11 for three games against the Cardinals. The Pirates play 18 of their next 28 games on the road.

The Pirates had a history of success against Fiers (5-7). He took a 6.12 ERA in 32? innings against the Pirates into the outing. …

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