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Pirates try to make up ground on Brewers

Aug 22, 2014 - 2:48 PM (SportsNetwork.com) - If the Pittsburgh Pirates have any intention of winning a National League Central title, this weekend would be a nice jumping off point.

Pittsburgh tries to slash into Milwaukee's division lead on Friday when it begins a three-game series with the Brewers at Miller Park.

It won't be easy, though, as the Pirates are just 3-10 versus the Brewers this season with just one win in six tries in Milwaukee. In fact, Pittsburgh is just 39-86 versus the Brewers since the start of the 2007 season and the series has been even more lopsided at Miller Park, where the Brewers have won 53 of 66 matchups in the same span.

Plus Milwaukee will start Pirates killer Yovani Gallardo in the opener. The right-hander owns a 12-4 lifetime mark versus the Pirates with a 2.57 ERA in 24 games (23 starts).

Gallardo won for the third time in four starts on Saturday in Los Angeles, as he outdueled Clayton Kershaw and held the Dodgers to a run and six hits in eight innings to improve to 8-6 on the year to go along with a 3.32 ERA.

"I thought he threw a great game, and that was good," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said.

Gallardo is also nine strikeouts away from breaking Ben Sheets' franchise record.

Milwaukee had its five-game winning streak stopped on Wednesday, but still heads into Friday's opener, holding a 1 1/2-game edge on the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.

Meanwhile, the Pirates, who trail the Brewers by six games in the division, snapped a seven-game losing streak on Wednesday against Atlanta, as they took advantage of Justin Upton's error in the ninth inning to rally for a 3-2 win.

Pittsburgh welcomed back starter Gerrit Cole to the rotation after the right- hander missed nearly two months with right lat soreness. Cole worked seven innings in the no-decision, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts in his first action since July 4.

"I thought he pitched pretty well this evening," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Cole. "He had four pitches to go to, very efficient work. Really good to see him out on the mound."

Now the Pirates turn to lefty Jeff Locke to face a Milwaukee team that has been in first place since April 5. Locke has won his last two decisions, but did not get one on Saturday in Washington, despite tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his team's 4-3 loss.

Locke, who is 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA on the year, has faced the Brewers five times and is 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA against them.








  • PITTSBURGH: 8
    MILWAUKEE: 3
    Final

    Aug 22 11:27 PM


  • Rickie Weeks singled to right scored Ryan Braun with two outs. On the play, Aramis Ramirez advances to second. Runners on first and second and Mark Reynolds due up.

    Pirates 8, Brewers 3  Bot 8, 2 OutsAug 22 11:01 PM


  • Josh Harrison two-out, two-run Home Run (11) to left scored Starling Marte. Travis Snider due up.

    Pirates 8, Brewers 2  Top 8, 2 OutsAug 22 10:45 PM
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    Pirates 6, Brewers 2  End 6Aug 22 10:15 PM
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    Pirates 6, Brewers 2  Bot 6, 2 OutsAug 22 10:09 PM
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    Pirates 6, Brewers 2  Top 5, 2 OutsAug 22 9:41 PM


  • Andrew McCutchen lead-off Home Run (18) to right center. Neil Walker due up.

    Pirates 6, Brewers 2  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 22 9:39 PM
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    Pirates 5, Brewers 2  End 4Aug 22 9:35 PM
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    Pirates 5, Brewers 2  Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 22 9:35 PM
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    Pirates 5, Brewers 2  Bot 4, 1 OutAug 22 9:31 PM


  • Josh Harrison singled to center scored Starling Marte with two outs. Josh Harrison to second on the throw. Runner on second and Travis Snider due up.

    Pirates 5, Brewers 2  Top 4, 2 OutsAug 22 9:23 PM
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    Pirates 4, Brewers 2  Top 4, 1 OutAug 22 9:19 PM
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    Pirates 4, Brewers 2  Bot 3, 2 OutsAug 22 9:14 PM


  • Neil Walker doubled to right scored Andrew McCutchen with one out. Neil Walker to third on the throw. Runner on third and Russell Martin due up.

    Pirates 4, Brewers 2  Top 3, 1 OutAug 22 9:07 PM


  • Josh Harrison doubled to right scored Gaby Sanchez and Starling Marte with two outs. Runner on second and Travis Snider due up.

    Pirates 3, Brewers 2  Top 2, 2 OutsAug 22 8:50 PM


  • Jordy Mercer sacrifice fly out to center scored Russell Martin with one out. Runners on first and second and Jeff Locke due up.

    Pirates 1, Brewers 2  Top 2, 1 OutAug 22 8:45 PM


  • Ryan Braun one-out, two-run Home Run (16) to left center scored Jonathan Lucroy. Aramis Ramirez due up.

    Pirates 0, Brewers 2  Bot 1, 1 OutAug 22 8:30 PM


  • PITTSBURGH: 0
    MILWAUKEE: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Aug 22 8:12 PM
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    Pirates vs. BrewersJun 9 8:16 PM