Jeff Karstens led the Pirates to a much-needed win Saturday night before leaving after seven shutout innings.
The Pirates couldn't get much going in the first several innings, and Pedro Alvarez being picked off second in the second inning didn't help. But the Bucs were able to take advantage of a key error by Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez in the fifth. Gomez ran a long way to get to a ball hit by Neil Walker, only to have it bounce off his glove. Then, with one out, Michael McKenry doubled to bring Walker home. With two outs, Karstens singled up the middle to bring in McKenry. Then Jose Tabata and Travis Snider had consecutive hits to bring in two more runs. Andrew McCutchen reached on yet another Brewers error, but, as with the second inning, the frame would come to an end with an out on the bases, as McCutchen was thrown out stealing.
Tabata left the game with an apparent groin injury after the end of the inning. Karstens wasn't far behind, but in the meantime, he quietly pitched seven shutout innings that the Pirates badly needed. He left in the eighth with groin trouble, but it doesn't sound like he'll have to miss any time. He left two runners on in the eighth, but Tony Watson and Jason Grilli shut the door, and Joel Hanrahan loaded the bases before finishing off the ninth.