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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 18th (All times Eastern)

Milwaukee Brewers (11-5) at Pittsburgh Pirates (8-8), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Kyle Lohse (2-1, 3.05) Pittsburgh - Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.32)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to replicate their offensive performance from the series opener, as they host the Milwaukee Brewers for the second of a four-game set at PNC Park.

The Pirates and Brewers battled for the first six innings of Thursday's contest before Josh Harrison provided a spark with a go-ahead, pinch-hit two- run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel Pittsburgh to an 11-2 victory.

"It was a good ballgame until the seventh inning," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We didn't do well offensively, and we let it get away from us out there."

Harrison went to the plate with the intention of laying down a sacrifice bunt, but luckily was forced to be more aggressive after failing to put the ball in play.

"They say baseball is a game of adjustments, and I was presented with the opportunity to bunt and didn't get it down, but you can't let that affect you," Harrison stated. "The at-bat wasn't over and I was just trying to do anything I could to keep my at-bat alive. He threw me a pitch and I put a good swing on it and it found the stands."

The Pirates then pulled away in the next frame behind the strength of a six- run surge. Andrew McClutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Gaby Sanchez all contributed home runs with the former two driving in three runs apiece. Russell Martin also made an impact, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks to raise his average to .273 on the campaign.

The loss was the third in four outings for Milwaukee, which will hope to bounce back with right-hander Kyle Lohse on the hill on Friday. In Lohse's last start on Sunday, he limited Pittsburgh to just one run on four hits over 8 2/3 innings of work while striking out nine batters en route to his second consecutive decision.

"They were swinging through some good pitches and I was just really executing well there for a stretch," said Lohse after Sunday's gem. "Really, the whole game was early on getting the fastball and the slider, but it was after those innings I got everything else going and kept it rolling."

Lohse will once again battle the Pirates' Charlie Morton, who took a loss after surrendering two earned runs on six hits and three walks on Sunday. Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 2013. The 30-year old is currently 0-1 with a 3.32 ERA after three starts this season.

On Friday, Jonathan Lucroy had two hits and drove in a run for Milwaukee, which suffered its first road defeat of the season in seven tries. Aramis Ramirez drove in a run for the third consecutive game to bring his season total to a team-high 14. Ramirez is also pacing the Brewers with a .369 batting average.

Ryan Braun went 1-for-4 with a double, run scored and strikeout on Thursday. The 2011 NL MVP is 7-for-15 with a home run and three walks versus Morton in his career.

The Pirates are 5-2 at PNC Park this season.

04/18 10:24:34 ET