Brewers rough up Morton as Bush shuts down Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Dave Bush was given a big early lead. He didn't need it.

Bush pitched seven shutout innings and the Milwaukee Brewers rocked Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton to beat the Pirates 8-1 on Tuesday night.

Bush (1-0) allowed three hits and four walks for the Brewers, who got off to a fast start for the second consecutive game.

"It was really a little bit of an odd game for me," Bush said. "I had a couple stretches where I had trouble throwing strikes ... and four walks is unusual for me. I battled my mechanics a couple times, but having a big lead allowed me to make adjustments. Pitching with a big lead is a lot easier."

Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee each drove in runs during both the first and second innings as Milwaukee charged Morton with six runs two days after scoring 10 in the first inning of an 11-7 win at Washington.

"Sometimes when you get off to a big lead, it's easy to get real fastball-dominant and get real aggressive, and before you know it, they're chipping away with two, three, four runs," Milwaukee catcher Gregg Zaun said. "That was the type of thing I didn't want to see happen tonight. I wanted him to go out there and pitch the way we normally pitch."

Rickie Weeks had two hits and two RBIs, Corey Hart homered, and Alcides Escobar had two hits and scored two runs for the Brewers, who allowed fewer than four runs for the first time this season.

"It was our best-pitched game of the year," Brewers manager Ken Macha said.

Morton's ERA climbed to 16.55 after he allowed five runs while retiring only three batters. He gave up six hits and three walks with one strikeout. The first five batters who faced him in the second reached base.

"He needs to get back to being aggressive, letting his stuff play," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "I still think Charlie is going to be just fine. He's got to find that glitch that works for him. He was nibbling a bit tonight, and that's what got him into trouble."

Morton (0-3) has allowed 20 runs and 23 hits in 10 1/3 innings this season.

"The worst part is the fact that I know what I'm capable of doing and that I'm not coming anywhere near it," Morton said. "Yeah, it might frustrate me and it might frustrate people to see me not have that success, but the most frustrating part is that the team needs me to go out there and not only do a good job but eat innings while I'm doing it, and I haven't been doing that."

Andrew McCutchen had three hits for the Pirates, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Pittsburgh has a winning record at 7-6 despite being outscored 83-54 this season. The Pirates have been outscored 57-13 in their losses.

Braun doubled in Jim Edmonds, McGehee drove in Braun with a single and Prince Fielder scored on a Hart groudout in the first. Escobar scored on a Weeks single, Bush made it 5-0 when Morton issued a bases-loaded walk to Braun and McGehee hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Weeks in the second.

Weeks had an RBI triple in the third and Hart hit the first pitch of the fifth over the center-field wall for his second homer of the season, making it 8-0.

Bush had left each of his two previous starts with the Brewers winning but the team lost both games. That would not be an issue Tuesday, despite Lastings Milledge driving in McCutchen with a double in the eighth.

"Today we relay put it all together," Bush said. "We played nice defense, scored runs early, added on a couple more as the game went on and got good pitching."

Game notes
Delwyn Young started at third base for the Pirates -- the team's third choice for the position. Regular third baseman Andy LaRoche missed his third consecutive game after leaving Friday's game in the second inning with back spasms. Then 90 minutes before game time, replacement Bobby Crosby was scratched from the lineup with left shoulder stiffness. ... McGehee has a career-high nine-game hitting streak. ... After using 12 different lineups the first 12 games, the Brewers finally replicated a previous lineup.