PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Sean Casey may not have time to save the
Pittsburgh Pirates' season. In his first game back from a long
layoff, he showed how much better their offense might have been if
he hadn't gotten hurt.
Casey had three hits and drove in three runs in his first game
since mid-April, and the Pirates bounced back from a difficult loss
to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 14-3 on Monday night behind Zach
"He's the kind of hitter who could roll out of bed on Christmas
morning and hit three line drives to left field," teammate Jason
Bay said. "It's good to have him back."
Casey admittedly felt nervous, especially after playing in only
five games in PNC Park for his hometown team before injuring his
back on a fielding play April 14. He was expected to be out as long
as two months, but returned only a couple of days past the six-week
"It felt great, because you feel helpless sitting," Casey
said. "It was good to contribute, and good to contribute to a
Bay's streak of consecutive games with a homer ended at six as
he was the only Pirates starter to not drive in a run, going
1-for-5. He was two games shy of the major league record first set
50 years ago this week by the Pirates' Dale Long and later tied by
Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr.
"The only at-bat I didn't try to hit a home run was when I
singled," Bay said. "It was the first time during this [streak] I
tried to do too much. Maybe now I can get back to normal."
This wasn't normal for the Pirates -- catcher Ronny Paulino was
the only starter who didn't get any of their 18 hits off four
pitchers, a day after they couldn't hold a four-run lead in the
ninth inning of a 5-4, 10-inning loss to Houston.
Maybe it's because the Pirates are so accustomed to losing after
dropping 34 of 51, but there didn't seem to be any carry-over
effect from that hard-to-take loss. Duke (3-6) gave up two runs in
the first, but the Pirates immediately came back with five runs in
their half of the inning.
"We had offense up and down the lineup," Pittsburgh manager
Jim Tracy said. "That was a very tough game to have to lose, and
the important thing to is to leave it behind you. The good ones are
able to put it behind them."
Casey drove in the first run with a single to center. Craig
Wilson and Duke had run-scoring singles, Doug Davis (3-4) issued a
bases loaded walk to Paulino, and second baseman Rickie Weeks
committed his 15th error of the season to allow another run to
"It's not a major deal if we can settle in and hold them right
there, but we couldn't do it," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Casey added a two-run double in the fourth to chase Davis, then
singled and walked his next two times up before being lifted in the
eighth. Bay, who has started every game the last two seasons, also
was pulled after grounding out to end the seventh.
"I felt sluggish out there, throwing around 40 pitches in the
first, and it was hard to execute some pitches," said Davis, who
gave up 11 hits and seven earned runs in three-plus innings. "I
made a lot of mistakes."
Duke ended a four-game losing streak during which he allowed 29
hits and 16 runs in 25 innings. The only other run off Duke came on
Prince Fielder's long home run to right leading off the sixth, a
drive estimated at 471 feet -- the third longest in PNC Park's six
seasons. Fielder also had an RBI double in the first.
Duke gave up 10 hits in 7 2-3 innings, but struck out five and
walked one for his first victory since shutting out the Cubs 9-0 on
Jose Bautista also homered in the sixth off Jeremi Gonzalez
during a three-hit night for the Pirates. All four of Bautista's
career homers have been since May 13. Jose Castillo hit his sixth
of the season in the eighth, off Chris Mabeus in the right-hander's
first major league appearance.
The Pirates have lost seven of 11, but their offense is
picking up -- they've scored 45 runs in five games. ... Mabeus had a
rough debut, allowing four runs and four hits and throwing three
wild pitches in 1 2-3 innings. ... Brewers 3B Jeff Cirillo singled
in the seventh, his 5,000th career at-bat. ... Fielder's homer
bounced into the Allegheny River, the 18th homer to reach the
water. Daryle Ward's homer in 2002 was the only one to reach the
river on the fly. ... The Brewers are one of the few opposing teams
that doesn't do well in PNC Park, going 15-31 there. ... Casey is a
.371 career hitter (49-of-132) at PNC Park, playing there the
previous five seasons with the Reds.