MILWAUKEE, WI (WHBL) - Milwaukee Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke says he still has confidence in reliever John Axford, after he took the loss Wednesday in a 6-4 defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. Axford gave up four runs in the eighth inning, as the Brewers ended an eight-game home winning streak and a string of nine victories over the Pirates. Sterling Marte tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth – and then Brandon Inge and Pedro Alvarez each had R-B-I singles. The loss dropped Axford to 0-3, after he lost the Milwaukee closer’s role after about the first week of the season. But he was pitching better recently, giving up just one run in eight appearances before yesterday – when Axford was booed by the home crowd. Roenicke says that can really affect a reliever’s psyche, but he’s still confident that Axford can do the job every time out. Axford said a lot of fans forgot what he accomplished in 2011, when he had a team-record 46 saves and a win that clinched a Brewers’ playoff series over Arizona. Yuniesky Betancourt homered in each of the three games against the Pirates. Carlos Gomez also went yard yesterday. He now has an eight-game hitting streak. Bryan Morris got the win in relief, and Jason Grilli got his 11th save. Tonight, the Brewers will open a four-game home series against the National League Central Division-leading Saint Louis Cardinals. Right-hander Wily Peralta faces Cards’ righty Jake Westbrook. Pregame coverage on WHBL begins at 6:35.
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