Major League Baseball
Brewers-Pirates preview
Major League Baseball

Brewers-Pirates preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 9:51 p.m. ET

PITTSBURGH -- Chase Anderson doesn't have to think back very far to know what it's like to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Milwaukee right-hander was done in by two grooved pitches that the Pirates hit out of Miller Park in the sixth inning last Sunday in a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh.

"That lineup and their starting pitching is pretty good," Anderson said after that game. "It's tough to face those guys."

Anderson (7-11, 4.29 ERA) gets another crack at Pittsburgh a week later when the teams close out a weekend series Sunday at PNC Park.

Anderson might want to note that the Pirates offense has cooled this weekend. In losing the first two games of this series, Pittsburgh has slapped together 16 hits, but they have not translated into the kind of run production manager Clint Hurdle is looking for.


The Pirates were shut out 1-0 Friday and lost 7-4 Saturday, but stranded 17 runners combined in the two games. Two of their runs Saturday came on solo home runs -- a good thing, but not indicative of sustained rallies.

"We have to find ways to score runs," Hurdle said after Saturday's loss. "It was similar to the situation (Friday) night: a lot of baserunners. (Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson) had six walks while he was out there. We're getting opportunities to score runs. We need to find a way to have that at-bat we need, pass the baton.

"The pitcher is the one in trouble. Get that good at-bat, hit the ball hard where it's pitched, keep it simple and go on. The last two nights in particular, we haven't taken advantage of the opportunities that we've had."

Despite the loss last weekend, Anderson's numbers have been pretty good lately, although he has not gotten out of the sixth in 11 of his past 12 starts. He is 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA over his past seven starts.

Pittsburgh is scheduled to counter with left-handed rookie Steve Brault (0-1, 3.86 ERA), who has been filling in pretty nicely through four starts. He's in the rotation for now because Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow are hurt.

Brault's one decision came in Milwaukee July 29. He allowed three runs in six innings in a 3-1 loss in his second career start.

Last weekend, Pittsburgh swept its four-game series at Miller Park, where they had struggled for several years and had lost their previous nine.

The Brewers are a win away from returning the favor, although this series is just three games and ends Sunday.

While some of the Milwaukee players might be eyeing payback -- second baseman Scooter Gennett said as much after Friday's win -- outfielder Keon Broxton claims to have no extra motivation against the Pirates.

Broxton made his big league debut with Pittsburgh as a September call-up. He was used primarily as a pinch-runner, going 0-for-2 with a stolen base and three runs scored. The Pirates traded him to the Brewers in December.

"I don't have any hard feelings," Broxton said Saturday after going 3-for-4 with an RBI, a walk and his 20th stolen base.

"They're the ones that got my big-league career started last year. I can't hold a grudge against them but it does feel good to come in with my new team and let them know what they are missing, show that I can do some things to help my new team win some games."


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