National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, September 1st
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (70-61) at Milwaukee Brewers (63-68), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (15-5, 3.67)
Milwaukee - Marco Estrada (2-5, 4.02)
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates turn to A.J. Burnett Saturday
evening in an attempt to even their three-game series versus the Milwaukee
Burnett is leading the Pirates' staff with 15 victories, but has struggled
over his last four starts. He is 1-2 with a 6.29 earned run average in that
span and is coming off Monday's loss to the Chicago Cubs.
The right-hander allowed four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and a walk
while striking out just three over 5 2/3 frames. He fell to 15-5 with a 3.67
ERA in 24 starts this season.
"I wasn't able to have shutdown innings," Burnett stated.
Burnett, 35, is 2-3 with a 5.60 ERA lifetime versus the Brewers in seven
starts. He has faced them just once this season and suffered a loss, touched
for four runs over seven frames with seven strikeouts at Milwaukee on July 15.
Pittsburgh had a chance to grab sole possession of the NL's second wild card
position, but dropped a 9-3 decision to Milwaukee, which jumped out to a quick
lead and never looked back.
Pirates starter Jeff Karstens recorded just one out and was charged with four
runs upon exiting the game with a right hip flexor strain. He had come out of
his previous start with a groin issue.
"If we would have (thought Karstens wasn't ready) we wouldn't have started
him," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was only about a three-pitch
sequence when his fastball was only about 85 miles per hour."
Garrett Jones hit his 22nd home run of the season, but the Pirates lost for
the seventh time in their last 10 games. They remained a half-game behind the
St. Louis Cardinals for the league's final playoff spot.
Corey Hart capped Milwaukee's big first inning with a two-run homer and Mark
Rogers tossed 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball to get the win.
"His stuff was good, even when he first came up. Location has been his
problem, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Rogers. "When he has location
he's really done very well. Tonight he was really good with it."
The Brewers have won nine of their past 11 contests and turn tonight to Marco
Estrada, who is coming off his first two wins of the season -- both against
the Chicago Cubs.
The 29-year-old righty threw six scoreless innings of two-hit ball in a win at
home on Aug. 21, then claimed a victory at Chicago on Monday after getting
charged with three unearned runs on six hits and three walks in five frames of
work. He struck out 17 in the two wins.
Estrada is 2-5 with a 4.02 ERA in 23 games (17 starts) this season while also
going 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA in six lifetime encounters with the Pirates, three
of those starts.
The Brewers have won six of 10 versus the Pirates this season.
09/01 10:24:04 ET