Red-hot Brewers try to break the brooms out on Pirates
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Brewers are making an early statement.
They go after their ninth straight win on Sunday when they close out a three- game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.
Milwaukee won for the ninth time in 11 games to start the season on Saturday, as Jonathan Lucroy started a crucial double play in the eighth and drove in the game-winning run in the bottom half as the Brewers pulled out a 3-2 win.
After beginning a rare 2-6-1 double play to keep the score tied, Lucroy followed consecutive one-out singles by Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez with one of his own, as Braun avoided the tag at home to score the deciding run.
Francisco Rodriguez worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to record his fourth save.
Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff home run for the Brewers, while Travis Snider highlighted Pittsburgh's offense with two hits and an RBI.
The Brewers also enjoyed a nine-game winning streak last season from April 14-23, but went on to finish 74-88.
Getting the call for the Brewers on Sunday will be righty Kyle Lohse, who is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Lohse picked up his first win on Tuesday in Philadelphia, but it wasn't easy, as he labored through five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits with four walks.
"There were three or four innings where I got the first two guys out and just couldn't get the third out," Lohse said. "I don't know. Just a little bit off, and that's all it takes some time. I was in battle mode from early on, just trying not to allow a big inning. It's a 'bend but don't break' kind of a thing."
Lohse has had a modicum of success against the Pirates, going 9-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 20 games (19 starts).
Milwaukee starters have not allowed more than three runs in a club-record 25 straight games and, reverting to 1990, only three teams have put together longer such streaks.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will counter with righty Charlie Morton, who has yet to receive a decision in two starts this season. After tossing six scoreless innings against Chicago in his season debut, Morton was ripped by the Cubs his next time out, surrendering five runs in six innings of a 7-6 win.
The tough sinkerballer had gone 93 innings without allowing a home run to a right-handed batter, until Starlin Castro hit two of them in a four-inning span.
"That can't happen. I'll learn from it," Morton said flatly. "I threw a four- seamer trying to go down and away, and the ball got in and he got under it. Then, a curve ... just terrible. Two terrible pitches."
Morton is 2-4 in nine starts versus the Brewers.
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.
04/13 09:40:08 ET