PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The Pirates dropped their fourth straight when they lost 4-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.
Paul Maholm (0-2) allowed four hits and two runs over seven innings.
On the mound for the Brewers was Scott Wolf (1-2) who allowed only two singles, a double and two walks, and didn’t allow a Pittsburgh runner to advance past second base.
The Pirates sole run came at the bottom of the ninth when Josh Rodriguez hit a wild pitch by John Axford, batting in Andrew McCutchen.
Pittsburgh managed four hits to fall to 1-5 on its opening homestand.
For the fifth time in six home games this season, Pittsburgh was behind before it even came to bat.
Price Fielder entered the game 3 for 42 lifetime against Pirates starter Paul Maholm (0-2) but lined a single with two on and none out that drove in Rickie Weeks in the first. That was Fielder’s NL-leading 15th RBI – all coming within his current seven-game hitting streak. Two batters later, a Yuniesky Betancourt sacrifice fly scored Ryan Braun to make it 2-0.
That proved too much of a deficit for the punchless Pirates to overcome – even with a revamped lineup Thursday. Pittsburgh came in with no runs and only four hits (all singles) in the previous 14 innings.
The streak of extra-base hits would last until the sixth, when Neil Walker’s fly deep to left bounced out of Ryan Braun’s glove and was ruled a double.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle sat struggling third baseman Pedro Alvarez (.200, no home runs) in favor or Steve Pearce. He moved cleanup hitter Lyle Overbay (.238, one homer) down in the order and inserted platoon right fielder Matt Diaz into the No. 4 spot.
Pittsburgh starting catcher Chris Snyder also made his season debut after being activated from the disabled list.
The result of the lineup shuffle was more of the same for an offense that ranks last in the NL in runs and entered the game 13th in batting average.
Wolf entered 8-3 lifetime against the Pirates, but in his most recent appearance against them he allowed career highs in runs (12) and hits (13) in 5 2-3 innings last July 21.
The outing marked the 14th time he had 10 or more strikeouts in a game.
After allowing four of the first five batters he faced to reach, Maholm retired 20 of his final 23. He was charged with two runs on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts in seven innings.
The Brewers added two in the ninth off Joel Hanrahan.