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PIT@MIL: Morgan belts a solo homer for an early lead

MILWAUKEE -- For the Brewers, the toughest part about sweeping the Dodgers in four games might have been leaving Los Angeles.

Returning home Friday after a late-night game at Dodger Stadium on Thursday ended a seven-game road trip, Milwaukee lost to the Pirates, 8-2, at Miller Park. It was a game in which the Brewers made all of the mistakes they avoided on the way to becoming the first team to sweep the Dodgers this season.

But it also was a game Milwaukee had to play barely 12 hours after getting back into town. So while the Pirates ended the Crew's longest winning streak of the season (four), the Brewers said they won't let Friday's loss -- suffered on dead legs -- ruin the momentum they built out west.

"I don't really think it takes too much wind out of the sails," said Ryan Braun, who left the game in the eighth inning with a right hip strain. "I don't think we had too much wind coming in after landing at 7 [a.m.], guys finally went to sleep at 8:30 or 9. So you just turn the page and remember the fact that we played really well the last four days, and hopefully tomorrow we get back on track."

Perhaps taking advantage of a tired Milwaukee team, Pittsburgh won at Miller Park for just the fifth time in the last 43 tries by capitalizing on seemingly every Brewers miscue.

Randy Wolf, who was looking for his first win since April 30, escaped tough spots with runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings. And, thanks to Nyjer Morgan's first home run of the season, the Brewers held an early 1-0 lead. The home run gave Morgan his first RBI 139 plate appearances into the season, setting a Major League record previously held by Herb Adams of the 1950 White Sox.

However, then came the mis-pitches, mis-judges and the mis-hits.

The Pirates' half of the third inning started with back-to-back triples to score their first run. Then, after a strikeout, Pittsburgh added four hits and a walk to bring in five more runs.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Jose Tabata -- the ninth batter of the inning -- hit a three-run double to straightaway center to cap the six-run stanza. Morgan appeared to have a play on the ball off the bat, but he ran forward as it sailed over his head and the bases cleared.

"He makes that play, we're still 3-1, which I feel really good," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Once we make it 6-1, we've really got to swing the bat and come back. It was a huge play."

After finally escaping the third, Wolf tossed three more innings, allowing just one baserunner. In Wolf's five innings of work outside of the third, he held the Pirates scoreless, but the damage done was too much to come back from, he said.

"I have to go out there and do my job," Wolf said. "My previous couple outings, I felt like I was on the right track. And then today, my delivery felt great, and [I] had one inning where things just didn't work out. I didn't do my job that inning, and it cost us the game."

At the plate, the Brewers also failed to get much going offensively. The only other Milwaukee run came on Corey Hart's shot over the right-field fence in the sixth. Outside of the two long balls, the Brewers sent just three baserunners past first on the night, and none made it to third.

Kevin Correia, who threw 5 2/3 innings for the Pirates and allowed two earned runs on five hits, played a large part in Milwaukee's struggles. Last season, Correia suffered just three losses on the road, and two of them came at Miller Park. This year, despite respectable numbers, Friday was only his second win, and manager Clint Hurdle said it was a big one.

"We all need some of that," said Hurdle, meaning tangible reward. "It's easy to say the ERA is good, and he's competing and keeping us in games. We all get that. But you compete for a reason, and it's nice to get a mark every now and then."

The Brewers have a night to recover, not just from the loss, but also their long road trip. And echoing his superstar, Roenicke said Friday night's game will be forgotten quickly.

"I don't think we played a good game today," he said. "[But] I still think the four games [in Los Angeles] did an awful lot for what we need to do going on. I think tomorrow we'll come out and play a good ballgame."

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