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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

  • WGC: Bridgestone Invitational

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • WGC: Bridgestone Invitational

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • MLB: NY Yankees at Boston

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Buffalo at NY Giants

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
TOL 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 2
SDP 0
Final
CIN 1
ARI 2
Final
TAM 2
MIL 1
Final
NYM 7
PHI 1
Final
BOS 1
TOR 14
Final
MIA 7
WAS 6
Final
CHC 4
COL 1
Final
TEX 4
NYY 2
Final
HOU 7
OAK 3
Final
SFG 0
PIT 5
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
ANA
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
ARI
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
COL
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ATL
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
STL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
PIT
 
Final
DUR 5
TOL 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR