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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 12th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Pirates (6-4) at Milwaukee Brewers (8-2), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Edinson Volquez (0-0, 1.17) Milwaukee - Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.00)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Yovani Gallardo tries to make it three straight wins to start the season on Saturday when the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers resume a three- game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.

Gallardo has been as good as any pitcher in baseball through two starts, as he has won both of his outings, while having not allowed a run either time out. His latest gem came on Sunday in Boston where he held the defending world champs scoreless over 6 2/3 innings, marking the first time in his career he has won two straight starts to open a season.

"It's always a good feeling to go out there and have good starts to start off the year, but you still have to keep going," said Gallardo. "You can't depend on two starts. You have to be consistent when you go out there every fifth day."

Gallardo's success could continue on Saturday, as he owns an 11-4 lifetime mark against the Pirates with a 2.59 ERA in 20 games (19 starts).

Milwaukee won for the eighth time in 10 tries to start the season in Friday's opener, as Aramis Ramirez stroked a two-run home run in the Brewers' 4-2 win. Mark Reynolds added a solo blast and Carlos Gomez picked up an RBI for the Brewers, who have won seven straight.

Wily Peralta (1-0) hurled seven solid innings, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on four hits, fanning four. Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in the ninth to earn his third save of the season.

"He (Peralta) had really good command on the fastball today," praised Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "Had a nice sink on it, kept it down low. Even the pitches he missed were low."

At 8-2, the Brewers are off to their best start since going 13-0 in 1987.

Neil Walker provided Pittsburgh's offense, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (0-2) surrendered four runs while fanning seven through six frames.

"I made two mistakes and you can't make those kinds of mistakes at this level," Liriano said.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Edinson Volquez, who is off to a surprising start as well with a 1.17 ERA. Volquez has yet to record a decision in two outings, but pitched well in his first start on Sunday against St. Louis, as he allowed just a run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings of his team's 2-1 win.

"A flat-out gem," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a very big confidence builder for him and for the team -- which responded well behind him."

Volquez is 4-1 in seven career starts in Miller Park -- despite allowing 12 homers in 39 2/3 innings.

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.

04/12 10:33:06 ET