Pittsburgh Pirates (67-62) at Milwaukee Brewers (71-58), 2:10 p.m. (ET)
08/24/2014 10:35 AM
08/24/2014 10:39 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - It's been over 10 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates have swept the Brewers in Milwaukee. Not only can the Pirates accomplish the feat Sunday, but it's possible they could also knock the Brewers from their perch atop the National League Central.
The Bucs are within four games of the division-leading Brewers, who hold a half-game edge on the St. Louis Cardinals. Milwaukee has been alone or at least tied for first place in the division every day since April 5, but that is in jeopardy today. The Cardinals play at Philadelphia this afternoon, while the Brewers try to avoid their first three-game sweep at home to the Pirates since April 30-May 2, 2004.
The Pirates send Vance Worley to the hill this afternoon as he aims to stop a personal two-game skid. Worley allowed a season-high six runs -- five earned -- in six frames Monday night versus Atlanta. He is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers. All of those appearances came when Worley pitched for the Phillies.
Mike Fiers tries to continue his success as a starter for the Brewers. The righty is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA in a starting role, which came about due to an injury to Matt Garza. He is 1-3 with a 6.64 ERA in six career games against the Pirates.
Last night, Pedro Alvarez hit two home runs in Pittsburgh's 10-2 rout. Alvarez drove in four runs as Pittsburgh handed the Brewers their third straight loss. Russell Martin had a three-run homer and Neil Walker finished with three hits and three RBI. Martin and Walker both scored two runs as well, as the Bucs won their third in a row following a seven-game slide.
"We're living in the moment," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "When you have three guys in your lineup to come up with multiple RBI ... it was a good team win."
Edinson Volquez (11-7) allowed 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings but limited Milwaukee to just two runs. He outdueled Brewers ace Wily Peralta, who failed to become Major League Baseball's first 16-game winner.
Peralta (15-8) was roughed up, allowing a season-high eight runs -- seven earned -- over five innings. He had won his last four home starts.
The Brewers went 2-for-10 with men in scoring position and left 13 runners on base and have stranded 22 so far in this series.
"It's not worrisome, it's baseball, but you don't want to do it over a prolonged period," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "You've got to come through with those hits if you're going to win games."
Pittsburgh's Gregory Polanco, who was a late defensive replacement Saturday, is mired in a 1-for-27 slump.
Milwaukee leads the season series, 10-5.
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