National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 24th (All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Brewers (78-53) at Pittsburgh Pirates (60-68), 12:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Shaun Marcum (11-3, 3.40) Pittsburgh - Aaron Thompson (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Brewers aim to continue their recent mastery of the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon when the National League Central rivals wrap up a four-game series at PNC Park.
After a rare loss to the Pirates in the nightcap of Monday's doubleheader, the Brewers got back on track on Tuesday, as Casey McGehee hit a two-run homer in a seven-run second inning in Milwaukee's 11-4 rout.
Nyjer Morgan finished with four hits, drove in two runs and scored twice for the Brewers, who continued their month-long hot streak and won for the 24th time in 28 games.
Ryan Braun went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored, and Jonathan Lucroy posted three hits and knocked in a run for Milwaukee, which saw its lead in the NL Central increase to 10 games after the Cards were routed at home by the Dodgers later Tuesday.
Marco Estrada (4-8) allowed seven hits and two runs over seven innings for the win.
Ronny Cedeno collected three hits and Neil Walker added two with an RBI for the Pirates, who continued their second-half slide by recording their eighth loss in 12 tries.
Recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis prior to the contest, Ross Ohlendorf (0-1) was torched for 11 hits and seven runs -- four earned -- over five full frames. It was the right-hander's first appearance since April 8, and his first start while subbing for the injured Paul Maholm didn't go anywhere near as planned.
"Obviously he was more efficient in his minor league starts," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "But you're talking about minor league starts vs. major league starts."
The Brewers have won 10 of their 11 meetings with the Pirates this season and are an amazing 46-12 against them since the start of the 2008 campaign.
That trend could continue this afternoon, as the Brewers face Aaron Thomson, who will be making his major league debut. Thompson went 5-7 with a 4.63 ERA in 95 1/3 innings between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. At Indianapolis, he allowed just one run in 11 2/3 innings.
"I'm very excited to be up here," said Thompson. "Totally unexpected."
Milwaukee, meanwhile, will counter with righty Shaun Marcum, who is 11-3 with a 3.40 ERA. Marcum beat the New York Mets his last time out, holding them to a run and six hits in seven innings.
Marcum has faced the Pirates twice this season and is 1-0 against them, while allowing just one run in 14 2/3 innings.
The Pirates are currently in a stretch that will see them play 14 games over a 13-day period. They are also in the midst of playing 20 straight games within their division.
08/24 10:54:08 ET