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Post-game notes from Pirates-Brewers

Here are some notes from the Pirates’ post-game locker room following the 6-5 loss to the Brewers:

· It took only one batter Tuesday night to realize Paul Maholm wasn’t at his best.

Rickie Weeks ripped a line-drive to left that happened to find Brandon Moss’s glove. Maholm has been virtually unhittable in the first inning this season, retiring 12 of the 13 batters he’s faced. The only blemish was an Opening Day double by Albert Pujols.

So, when Corey Hart followed Weeks’ liner with a sharp double and Ryan Braun singled for a 1-0 lead, it was clearly not going to be Maholm’s night. The left-hander escaped bases-loaded jams in the third (on a Prince Fielder foul out) and in the fourth (on a Weeks pop out). But Bill Hall turned on a meaty, over-the-plate change-up on the first pitch in the bottom of the sixth and Maholm’s night ended one batter later.

He ended up throwing a season-high 111 pitches and walking a season-high five. He had walked only seven in his first four starts of the season.

“I didn’t feel comfortable the whole time,” Maholm said. “It was a game where I didn’t have it. Overall, it was just bad. The team gives you a 5-1 lead and you let them down. It’s pretty tough to take. We needed this game to get back in the series, and I didn’t go deep in the game. I just didn’t have it. It’s tough to take.”

Maholm has allowed nine earned runs in the past 11.1 innings. His ERA has climbed from 0.87 to 3.09.

· A night after Jeff Karstens tattooed Ryan Braun between the shoulders in the all-star’s first pitch after a home run, three different Pirates were hit with pitches, prompting home plate umpire Wally Bell to warn both teams.

Dave Bush barely grazed the jerseys of Eric Hinske and Andy LaRoche in the fifth inning, drawing a lot of boos from the crowd of 26,594, but clearly not dangerous beanballs. Bell approached the mound and waved to both dugouts. That was the end of it, until Jason Jaramillo hit a two-run double for a 5-1 Pirates lead.

— By John Grupp

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