The Bucs visit their House of Horrors tonight as they open a six-game road trip in Milwaukee against the Brewers. It's Kevin Correia vs. Randy Wolf at 8:10 at Miller Park. Since the start of the 2007 season the Pirates are 4-38 in Milwaukee. That works out to a .095 winning percentage. A lot of Beast Mode for the Brew Crew. The Pirates play the Brewers 15 times this year, but only six times in Miller Park. However, they will play 19 or their next 28 on the road so June could prove to be a pivotal month. Thus far this season the Bucs are 9-14 on the road and 16-11 at home. Last year they were 40-41 on the road.
The Pirates are coming off a 9-game homestand in which they went 6-3, with a sweep of the Cubs and two wins over the division-leading Reds. They come into tonight's game 25-25, three games out of first place. The Bucs were 24-26 after 50 games last year.
Matt Hague has hit safely in all six games since his promotion and has recorded two game-winning RBIs, including the two-run double that put the Pirates ahead Wednesday night. Hague and recently recalled Pirate Jordy Mercer were teammates at Oklahoma St. in 2008 when they were selected by the Pirates and have now played together at every stop along the way in their minor and major league careers: State College & Hickory in '08, Lynchburg in '09, Altoona in '10 and Indy in '11 (hat tip to Jim Trdinich of the Pirates). They are both in the starting lineup tonight for the second game in a row.
The Pirates continue to dominate when they get a handful of runs across the plate. They are 16-2 when scoring 4 or more runs. Here is the lineup that will try to get it started against Wolf:
Jose Tabata 7
Josh Harrison 9
Andrew McCutchen 8
Pedro Alvarez 5
Neil Walker 4
Matt Hague 3
Rod Barajas 2
Jordy Mercer 6
Kevin Correia 1
Correia was excellent his last outing in Milwaukee in a nationally-televised game on 8/13/11. He went 6.2 IP, giving up seven hits and one run while walking and striking out three each in a 1-0 Pirates loss.
The Brewers come into the series on a four-game winning streak having just swept the Los Angeles Dodgers and having committed just one error in their last ten games. They will be without C Jonathan Lucroy, who broke a bone in his hand and was placed on the 15-day DL on May 28. They have already lost SS Alex Gonzalez (knee), 1B Mat Gamel (knee) and P Chris Narveson (rotator cuff) to season-ending injuries.