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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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
ROC 6
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
ROC
 
Final
MIN 3
CLE 1
Final
MIL 5
CIN 1
Final
CWS 1
KAN 2
Final
COL 6
WAS 4
Final
ARI 5
DET 11
Final
SEA 2
NYM 3
Final
PIT 6
LOS 1
Final
PHI 1
SFG 3
Final
NYY 2
TEX 1
Final
TOR 6
BOS 4
Final
ATL 6
MIA 1
Final
STL 0
TAM 3
Final
CHC 3
SDP 8
8th
ANA 1
BAL 2
 
6th
OAK 8
HOU 2
 
12:37pm Today
TOR
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
SFG
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
TEX
 
3:35pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
SDP
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
NYM
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
DET
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
BAL
 
Final
DUR 5
ROC 6
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
ROC