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Preview: Pirates at Brewers

SportsDirectInc 2014

The Milwaukee Brewers host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday in their first meeting since a bench-clearing brawl on April 20 in Pittsburgh. In the third inning of what became a 14-inning win for the Brewers, players went at it after Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole had words with Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez, who took his time leaving the box following a drive off Cole. Gomez was one of four players - two on either side - to be suspended, and the ruling on his appeal is expected soon.

Milwaukee’s win that day gave Ron Roenicke’s club a 6-1 record this year against its NL Central rivals, which includes a three-game sweep at home April 11-13. That sweep could be an indication of a return to dominance over the Pirates at Miller Park, where the Brewers went an astonishing 46-7 over six-plus years before Pittsburgh took five of the final seven meetings last season. Milwaukee won two of three against the New York Yankees over the weekend, while the Pirates’ four-game winning streak came to an end Sunday night against St. Louis.

TV: 7:10 p.m., FSN Wisconsin

PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Gerrit Cole (3-2, 3.64 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Marco Estrada (2-1, 3.53)

Cole allowed a run in eight innings of that fight-marred game in April and followed it up with seven strong innings at St. Louis. He gave up three runs in eight frames against San Francisco on Wednesday, striking out seven while walking one. The former No. 1 pick has a 2.96 ERA in four career starts versus Milwaukee and allowed two runs in six innings in his only previous appearance at Miller Park.

Estrada gave up a run in six frames opposite Cole on April 20 and enters this one with a 5-0 record and an ERA of 2.01 in 12 games (nine starts) against Pittsburgh. He gave up a season-high four runs in six innings against Arizona on Tuesday, serving up two home runs for the third straight start. The 30-year-old has lasted at least six innings in six consecutive starts and has yielded just 34 hits in 43 1/3 innings on the year.


1. Despite winning six of seven meetings this year, Milwaukee has only outscored Pittsburgh by a 29-28 margin.

2. Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez (hamstring) is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

3. The Brewers are 7-0 when C Martin Maldonado starts.

PREDICTION: Brewers 4, Pirates 3