Braun's homer leads Brewers over Pirates to complete sweep
MILWAUKEE Ryan Braun hit his major league-leading 12th homer, tripled and drove in four runs, helping a shaky Zack Greinke and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-6 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
Casey McGehee and Jonathan Lucroy also homered as the Brewers beat Pittsburgh for the ninth straight time at Miller Park. The Pirates have lost five in a row overall.
Greinke (2-1) was flawless for the first four innings. He gave up five runs in the fifth as the Pirates pulled to 6-5, and left after the inning.
Greinke made his third start for the Brewers after missing more than a month because of a broken rib.
Kevin Correia (5-4) struggled in his attempt to become the first Pirates pitcher to win six games by mid-May since 1991, when Neal Heaton started 6-0 and Doug Drabek was 6-1.
Correia came in 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five road starts this season, but there weren't many signs of his road success in this outing.
The Brewers scored four runs in the first 12 pitches of the game, as Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez singled and Braun followed with his home run.
Two batters later, Casey McGehee hit a deep, high fly. The ball just cleared the 400-foot sign and Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen lost his glove over the wall while leaping trying to catch it. A Brewers employee retrieved McCutchen's glove from behind the wall and flipped it back to him.
Braun made it 5-0 in the second with a two-out triple past McCutchen - Braun has 11 RBIs in his last five games. McGehee doubled to lead off the third and scored on Lucroy's two-out double.
Greinke, however, nearly gave it all back. He cruised early, not allowing a hit and facing the minimum through four innings, mixing a fastball in the low- to mid-90s mph and changeups in the mid-60s. But Pittsburgh rallied for five runs in the fifth.
Neil Walker led off with a homer, capping an impressive 12-pitch at-bat. Then with two outs, the Pirates got five straight hits. Chris Snyder, Ronny Cedeno and Steve Pearce all doubled, McCutchen tripled and Jose Tabata singled to make it 6-5.
Lucroy made it 8-5 in the fifth with two-run homer. McGehee reached on a two-base error by third baseman Pedro Alvarez and scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-5 in the seventh.
The Pirates made it interesting in the ninth with a run on three straight singles by Alvarez, Brandon Wood and Cedeno off Brewers closer John Axford. But shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt robbed Ryan Doumit of a single up the middle, turning a grounder into an out, and Tabata grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end it.
NOTES: Snyder was ejected for arguing a third-strike call in the sixth. ... The Brewers have won 33 of 36 against the Pirates at home since 2007. ... It was Military Appreciation Day at Miller Park, with about 15,000 members of the military and their families expected at the game.