Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse will seek to extend his major league-best win streak when he faces a team he’s dominated this season.
Lohse will try for another stellar performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night while earning his eight consecutive victory.
Lohse (7-1, 2.60 ERA) heads into PNC Park after his finest outing of the season, a three-hit shutout of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. He walked none and struck out six in his first complete game of the year, a 9-0 victory for his seventh straight winning decision since losing his season debut April 1.
He’s already beaten the Pirates twice during that streak, posting a 1.20 ERA and permitting 11 baserunners in 15 innings with 14 strikeouts.
Lohse has won six consecutive decisions versus Pittsburgh dating back to August 2011, when he was with St. Louis. He’s 11-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 career starts against the Pirates.
Lohse will attempt to lead the Brewers (36-25) to their seventh win in 10 games and ninth in 11 matchups with the Pirates this season. Milwaukee took three of four in its first visit to PNC from April 17-20.
Pittsburgh (28-31) had won five of six before losing 3-2 at San Diego on Wednesday to cap a 10-game road trip.
The Pirates have won eight of 11 at PNC, and Brandon Cumpton (0-2, 6.85) enters with a career 2.60 ERA there but is coming off a dreadful outing on the road. The right-hander was tagged for 11 runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings in a 12-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
The 11 runs were the most allowed by a pitcher in any game this season.
"It’s only one start. I’ve gotten beaten around before and I’m sure it’s going to happen again," Cumpton said. "But I’m not going to hang my head over it."
Cumpton will make his first start against a Brewers team that’s batting .297 in its last 15 games while averaging 6.0 runs.
Milwaukee rallied to avoid a third straight loss to Minnesota behind a trio of long balls Thursday. Khris Davis hit the go-ahead homer in an 8-5 victory after resting Wednesday, and Carlos Gomez had a three-run shot.
"If we swing the bat like that, we’re going to really do well," manager Ron Roenicke told the team’s website. "It was an important win to get back in that good feeling going into Pittsburgh, instead of wondering, OK, we’re not playing well for whatever the reason. It was a win we needed."
Davis is hitting .375 with six homers and 12 RBIs in his last 15 games. Ryan Braun, who had three hits Thursday, is batting .400 with 11 RBIs in his last 11 contests.
Braun is hitting .350 in 10 games against the Pirates this year with 10 runs and three homers – all at PNC. He’s hit .400 in Pittsburgh since the start of last season.
Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison is batting .452 in his last seven games and is 6 for 13 against the Brewers this year, but reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and slugger Pedro Alvarez have hit a combined .171 with two RBIs in the season series.