Pirates Lose Again, 3-1, As Playoff Hopes Effectively Vanish

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Starting pitcher Kyle McPherson #60 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is taken out of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game on September 19, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Pirates fell to .500 with another loss to the Brewers, and at this point, the Bucs appear to be out of the playoff race. Kyle McPherson only lasted 4.1 innings but only gave up two runs, and Jeff Karstens kept the Pirates in it with three scoreless innings of relief, but the Bucs' offense never really showed up.

Norichika Aoki homered on the second pitch of the game, which didn't bode well. The Bucs got runners into scoring position in both the first two innings, but couldn't cash in either of them, and so the Brewers took a 1-0 lead into the fifth, when opposing pitcher Marco Estrada hit an RBI single. Chris Resop then took over for McPherson and allowed two singles, but got a big pitcher-to-home-to-first double play to get out of the jam.

Still, 2-0! It felt like it might as well have been a million. And the Brewers got an insurance run in the seventh when Jean Segura tripled, then came home on an error by Brock Holt.

The Pirates got a solo homer by Andrew McCutchen in the ninth, but John Axford managed to shut the door to seal the victory for the Brewers.

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