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National League Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, September 27th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Pirates (72-88) at Milwaukee Brewers (94-66), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Ross Ohlendorf (1-3, 8.29) Milwaukee - Randy Wolf (13-10, 3.61)

(Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Brewers are closing in on home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs and look to bounce back from last night's loss versus the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.

The Brewers are a game ahead of Arizona for the second-best record in the National League and lucked out when the Diamondbacks dropped the opener of their series with the Dodgers. In Monday's 9-8 setback to the Pirates, Takashi Saito was dealt the loss for yielding the go-ahead run in the seventh and starter Shaun Marcum was hammered for seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Yuniesky Betancourt doubled twice and knocked in four runs, while Prince Fielder and Corey Hart both had two hits and an RBI for the NL Central- champion Brewers, who had won three straight and nine of 12 games. Ryan Braun was not in the starting lineup for extra rest and is pursuing a batting title with a .334 average. He doubled home a run as a pinch-hitter.

"That tells me he is focused on winning this thing and being ready for the playoffs, and whatever happens with the batting title, it happens," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I told him I wanted him to have a day somewhere, and this is what he -- what we -- came up with."

A win tonight for Milwaukee coupled by an Arizona loss would lock up the No. 2 seed in the National League behind Philadelphia. Arizona holds the tiebreaker over the Brewers.

Randy Wolf will make his final start of the regular season tonight and is 13-10 with a 3.61 earned run average in 32 starts this season. He was 2-0 in three starts before a 7-1 loss at the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, when he was reached for six runs and 10 hits in six innings. Wolf, who is 7-3 in 15 home starts this season, will face Pittsburgh for the 19th time in his career. The lefty is 9-3 with a 4.11 ERA over the first 18 starts in this series.

The Pirates have won four of their last six games and is hoping to close out another losing season on a bright note.

Alex Presly finished 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, while Pedro Alvarez drove in three runs for Pittsburgh. Charlie Morton did not record a decision after he was touched for five runs and eight hits over five innings of work. Daniel McCutchen posted the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and Joel Hanrahan notched his 40th save in the ninth.

"It was awesome to be able finally win a game here because they had something to play for," Presley said. "It was nerve racking because the crowd was really into it."

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the game after getting hit in the lower abdomen by a batted ball during batting practice. He could return to the lineup this evening.

Ross Ohlendorf draws the start for the Buccos tonight and is 1-3 with an 8.29 earned run average in eight outings. He was beaten in Arizona on Wednesday and gave up seven runs in only two innings of an 8-5 setback. The righty lost to Milwaukee on Aug. 23 and is 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA in five career starts against the Brewers.

Ohlendorf is 1-1 in five road starts this season.

Milwaukee is 10-3 against the Pirates this season, including a 6-1 mark at Miller Park. It had won 12 in a row as the host in this series before Monday's series-opening loss.

09/27 10:59:14 ET

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