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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, July 14th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Pirates (48-38) at Milwaukee Brewers (41-45), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Kevin Correia (5-6, 4.34) Milwaukee - Marco Estrada (0-3, 4.06)

(Sports Network) - Kevin Correia tries to win his fourth consecutive decision when he leads the Pirates against Milwaukee in the second-test of a three-game series at Miller Park.

The right-hander's last four-game winning streak, which is a career-best, came April 12-28, 2010 when he pitched for the Padres. He's 3-0 over his last four outings and hasn't lost since June 13 at Baltimore. Correia, who is coming off a victory against Houston on July 4, has gone 4-1 with a 4.17 ERA in his last eight starts since losing five straight outings. Additionally, he's 13-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 23 assignments on the road as a member of the Pirates.

Correia won his lone start against the Brewers this year, allowing five hits and a pair of runs over 5 2/3 innings in an 8-2 final at Miller Park on June 1. He's just 3-6 with a 5.04 ERA in 17 games (10 starts) vs. Milwaukee.

Marco Estrada has yet to record a win in 14 games (8 starts) this season. The righty last pitched in relief on Sunday at Houston and tossed three scoreless innings. His previous start came on July 3 vs. Miami as he received a no- decision in the Brewers' 13-12, 10-inning win.

Estrada, who was on the disabled list for about a month earlier this season due to a right quadriceps strain, is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in five career games against the Pirates, including a pair of starts.

The Pirates fell into a first-place tie with Cincinnati in the NL Central thanks to last night's 10-7 loss. The Reds defeated St. Louis.

Cody Ransom's eighth inning grand slam proved to be the difference.

Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez both singled before executing a double-steal to put runners at second and third. Rickie Weeks was then intentionally walked to load the bases for Ransom, who crushed his first career grand slam.

Braun finished the game 4-for-4 with a pair of solo homers and Corey Hart had three hits and scored a run for the Brewers, winners in three of four and seven of 10.

Francisco Rodriguez (2-4) got the win after tossing a scoreless seventh. Zack Greinke started for Milwaukee and gave up six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits and struck out six. Greinke was making his third straight start.

"Today I thought he was a little bit off," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Greinke's start. "He's had some unusual things happen to him. To pitch three games in a row is a little odd. We had a good bullpen tonight. (Jose) Veras came in and threw the ball well."

Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker each homered for the Pirates, who had won six of seven coming in. McCutchen, who leads the majors with a .367 batting average, has three homers over his last two games.

Tony Watson (4-1) was pegged with the loss after giving up Ransom's grand slam.

"We weren't real sharp on the mound tonight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He (Watson) just made a bad pitch. I don't think anything in this game is ever a no-brainer. Tip your hat to Ransom, anyone with a bat at this level is dangerous."

The Pirates need a win today to keep an impressive streak alive. They have won seven straight series against teams from the National League Central since dropping two of three against the Reds from May 4-6 at PNC Park. Pittsburgh hasn't won more than seven straight series within its own division since winning 10 straight in 1992 -- the last time the Buccos had a winning record.

Neil Walker has a 13-game hitting streak for Pittsburgh, which took two of three meetings at Miller Park from June 1-3. The Brewers, though, have won 18 of the last 23 contests between the clubs.

07/14 10:32:40 ET

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