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
"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