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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 11th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Pirates (6-3) at Milwaukee Brewers (7-2), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Francisco Liriano (0-1, 3.00) Milwaukee - Wily Peralta (0-0, 3.60)

(SportsNetwork.com) - National League Central Division rivals square off at Miller Park Friday, as the Milwaukee Brewers host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game weekend series.

Six of the Pirates' first nine games have been decided by one run, and they have won five of them.

"They're fun. That's who we are," manager Clint Hurdle said of the tight games. "The guys are just getting dirty with it."

Of course, Hurdle would love to see cleanup hitter Pedro Alvarez continue his tear at the plate. Alvarez became the first Pirates player to have two multi- homer games in the first eight games of the season. He went deep again on Thursday afternoon along with teammate Travis Snider as Pittsburgh claimed a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

"He's become much more aware of where he gets pitched, and has learned that he is much better served when he hits the ball hard where it's pitched," Hurdle said of Alvarez. "There isn't a ballpark that can hold him, and he can leave any park from line to line."

At 7-2, Milwaukee is tied with Washington for the best record in the majors and holds a one-game lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central standings. The Brewers are back home after wrapping up an impressive 6-0 road trip in Boston and Philadelphia.

"The Pirates are coming to town, so we have to treat them just like we did Boston and Philly," Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "We have to take them seriously and be ready to roll."

Toeing the rubber for Milwaukee will be right-hander Wily Peralta, who allowed five runs (two earned) in five innings of an eventual 7-6, 11-inning loss at Boston last Saturday.

"It's going to be tough," Peralta said. "Pittsburgh has a good team, they showed that last year. St. Louis pretty much has the same team. We definitely have a better team, I know that."

For Pittsburgh, lefty Francisco Liriano gets the nod and will look to rebound from a tough outing against St. Louis last weekend. Liriano went six innings and allowed four runs in that game, including three in the opening frame, as the Pirates went on to fall, 6-1.

The Bucs went 12-7 against Milwaukee last year, and that includes a 5-4 mark inside Miller Park. During a five-year stretch through 2011, they had lost 38 of 42 at Milwaukee.

04/11 10:26:06 ET

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL Hurricanes at Chicago

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
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SAV
NCCU
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1st
PHI 16
TOR 22
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
GSW
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
PHO
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LAC
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NOP
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TEX 14
BAY 20
 
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SYR 13
UVA 2
 
7:30pm Tonight
SHSU
CARK
 
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NWST
SELA
 
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HAMP
 
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COOK
 
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HOW
NORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
STEPH
INCWORD
 
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LAM
 
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NO
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SAV
NCCU
 
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ALAST
PVU
 
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ALAAM
TXSOU
 
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VT
BC
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MVSU
GRAM
 
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ARKPB
JST
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
OKLA
1st
NYR 1
NAS 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
MON