PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers continued their domination of the Pirates on Monday evening with an 8-1 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
It has been more than a year since the Pirates have defeated the Brewers. The Bucs are 0-9 against the Crew this season and have lost 13 straight games to Milwaukee dating back to a win on July 21, 2010.
"We know they have our number," Pirates starter Jeff Karstens said. "It was a good game until late, you know. We had a couple bad innings, it's baseball. I just wish it wasn't that way right now."
Karstens pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out five batters and allowed just one baserunner over his last three innings -- a hit batter.
His seven-inning performance was important for the Pirates, who needed a strong outing to save their depleted bullpen before the second game. The Pirates used Tony Watson and Joe Beimel in the eighth and ninth, leaving Daniel McCutchen, Jason Grilli, Chris Resop and Chris Leroux available for Game 2.
"They expect you to go deep every time out," Karstens said. "I don't expect any less of myself."
Karstens got the first two outs in the fourth inning before Yuniesky Betancourt singled and George Kottaras hit a ground-rule double that bounced over the fence in right field. Karstens intentionally walked Craig Counsell to face opposing pitcher Chris Narveson, who hit a two-run single to give himself and the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
The Brewers scored four more runs in the eighth inning off Watson. Corey Hart singled and scored on a double by Betancourt. Watson intentionally walked Casey McGehee before allowing a single to Counsell and a double to Jonathan Lucroy. The single scored one and the double scored two. All four runs came with two outs.
Beimel walked Jerry Hairston Jr. to start the ninth, and Ryan Braun, who'd been quiet for the first eight innings, homered to add to the Brewers' lead.
"It was just one of those days where they kind of had our number," Karstens said. "We weren't able to really do anything, and they were able to scrap around, have a little lead and then really attack us later in the game."
Narveson shut out the Pirates over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits, struck out three and walked one. He allowed multiple hits in an inning just once -- in the fifth, and left the game with an issue with the fingernail on his left middle finger after striking out Ryan Ludwick for the first out in the sixth inning.
Ludwick put the Pirates on the board in the eighth with a homer to left field. It was his first home run since he was traded to the Pirates and his 12th of the season.
Jose Tabata went 3-for-4 with a double and two singles, and Josh Harrison went 2-for-3 with a triple. It was Harrison's first career triple.
The Brewers went into Game 2 looking to sweep the Pirates in a doubleheader for the first time in the teams' histories.
Laura Myers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.