PITTSBURGH - Jeff Karstens delivered just the type of outing the Pittsburgh Pirates needed to snap a losing streak.
After the game, he learned he may have the opportunity for another strong outing next week, too.
Karstens pitched seven-plus stellar innings before leaving with an injury and the Pirates snapped a four-game skid with a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
Karstens (5-3) gave up seven hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four for his first win in nine career starts against Milwaukee.
"Jeff, tonight, gave us the start that we did need," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "Exactly."
Karstens also had an RBI single and scored during Pittsburgh's four-run fifth inning, but left with what was referred to as an injured right groin after the first two Brewers singled in the eighth.
He felt pain on a pitch to Nyjer Morgan that resulted in an infield single that put runners on first and second with no outs. Karstens threw one pitch to Norichika Aoki before leaving the game.
After the game, Karstens said he thought the problem was more located in his hip than groin. But he said he did not think he was injured seriously.
"Little relieved," Karstens said. "When you're out there on the mound, you don't know how bad it's going to be. I think all the tests came back pretty good - at least from my standpoint, I thought.
"We'll come in tomorrow and see how it is, but I don't see it being a big issue. I should be able to go in five days."
Pedro Alvarez had two hits for the Pirates, who are one game behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot.
Aramis Ramirez had three hits for the Brewers, who had won four in a row.
Shaun Marcum (5-4) did not allow an earned run in his first start since June 14 but took the loss due to two errors in the Pirates' fifth.
"Got a little tired there in the fifth inning, but other than that I felt pretty good," Marcum said. "Felt like I was locating from the get-go. In that fifth inning, I made a couple mistakes ... but other than that, for the most part I ended up with close to 90 pitches and I felt like I located the majority of them."
Earlier this season, Karstens spent more than two months on the disabled list due to hip and shoulder issues. He had a setback in coming back from that when he injured his groin in a minor league rehabilitation start but said "this one's nowhere near as bad. I don't see myself missing any time."