- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t get anything going against Mike Fiers.

Fiers scattered three hits over seven solid innings and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pirates 4-1 on Friday night.

The Pirates had won 11 of their last 13 games leading up to the All-Star break. Pittsburgh came in with a major league-best 10-2 record in July, scoring 53 runs so far, which was second to the Brewers’ 66 in the NL.

“We didn’t meet the overall demands of the game,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “I don’t think it needs any more explanation than that. We weren’t able to do a lot on offense.”

Fiers’ only hiccup was Jung Ho Kang’s homer in the seventh, giving him 12 home runs allowed at home, but only one on the road. He walked one, struck out seven and threw 60 of his 89 pitches for strikes.

“His fastball had that life on it, that little bit of extra life on it,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “You could see that in the strikeouts. It’s the whole package with him. Everything was working pretty well, but he had a really good fastball.”

Hurdle rattled off what made the 6-foot-2 Fiers so effective.

“The downhill angle, the fastball was tough,” the Pirates skipper said. “He located his pitches, curve ball, the changeup. The downhill angle is tougher than a lot of people give it credit for it to hit. You don’t have to throw 100.”

Fiers (5-7) is 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in his last five starts. He’s walked 12 and struck out 24 in that span.

“Not really a secret, just being aggressive,” Fiers said. “Command’s big. Not walking guys. Making them earn their way on. Just being aggressive, going after them and trusting in my stuff.”

Will Smith pitched the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez closed it out with his 20th save in 20 chances.

Gerardo Parra raised his batting average two points to .311 and is the only Brewer over .300.

Parra doubled in the first off Charlie Morton (6-3) and scored on a groundout. His double in the fifth scored Scooter Gennett, who had been hit by a pitch and advanced on a sacrifice by Fiers.

“I felt like I was pretty efficient considering I had three walks and a hit batter,” Morton said. He also struck out two and allowed five hits in six innings.

After Fiers had hit the first Pittsburgh batter in the second and fifth innings, Morton plunked Gennett, the leadoff batter in the bottom of the fifth, prompting plate umpire Dale Scott to warn both managers. Gennett took second on Fiers’ sacrifice and scored on Parra’s double.


Pirates: 1B/OF Corey Hart, who has been on the 15-day DL (shoulder impingement) since June 24, retroactive to June 22, traveled with the team. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on June 30, but now has soreness in his knee.

Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta pitched Thursday night in his first rehab start with Double-A Biloxi and is expected to make his next one in five days. “He threw 58 pitches, so he’s got another step still to take,” Counsell said. Peralta has been the 15-day DL (strained left oblique) since May 25, retroactive to May 23.


Starling Marte swiped the 100th stolen base of his career in the second off Milwaukee starter Mike Fiers.


The Pirates recalled outfielder Jaff Decker from Triple-A Indianapolis. He takes the roster place of pitcher Wilfredo Boscan, who was optioned to Indianapolis on Monday. The 25-year-old outfielder appeared in five games with the Pirates last season. He hit .275 with nine doubles, one triple, three home runs, 24 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 54 games at Indianapolis.


Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (5-6) went 0-1 last season in two starts at Miller Park, but is 6-5 in 14 career games, including 13 starts, against the Brewers.

Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (6-9) is 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in three career starts this season against the Pirates.


This story has been corrected to show that Parra had two hits instead of three.

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