(SportsNetwork.com) – The Milwaukee Brewers try to avoid their worst start in
12 years on Saturday when they continue a three-game series with the
Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.
Pittsburgh won its first game of the season in Friday’s opener, as Pedro
Alvarez and Starling Marte both homered and drove in two runs apiece to help
the Pirates to a 6-2 victory.
Neil Walker ended up with three hits and Jordy Mercer also knocked in a run
for the Pirates, who had been swept to start the season in Cincinnati
“We were fundamentally sound with the bat,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
“We had some good at-bats when we needed it.”
Jeff Locke (1-0) allowed two runs on seven hits over six effective innings,
aiding his cause with an RBI double.
All the news wasn’t good, though, as All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen
exited Friday’s game in the ninth inning with left knee soreness and may not
“Took himself out after he ran down the line,” Hurdle said. “The at-bat, the
swing. He felt a little something.”
Adam Lind collected two hits and drove home both runs for the Brewers, who
fell to 0-4 for the first time since 2011 — the year they won the NL Central
and reached the NLCS. Khris Davis doubled twice and scored once in the loss.
Another loss, though, would mark the Brewers’ longest slide to open a season
since losing six straight in 2003.
“It’s still really early, but we know we’re better than this,” Brewers
outfielder Carlos Gomez said.
Mike Fiers (0-1) was tagged in defeat for five runs on seven hits despite
fanning eight over five full frames.
Getting the call for the Pirates on Saturday will be righty Vance Worley, who
lost a spot in the rotation this spring, but was thrust into a starting
role thanks to an injury to Charlie Morton.
Worley appeared in 18 games (17 starts) for the Pirates last season and was
8-4 with a 2.85 ERA. He was also one of only 30 starters with 110-plus innings
and a sub-3.00 ERA in 2014.
The 27-year-old hurler has faced the Brewers five times and is just 1-3
against them with a 4.06 ERA.
Heading to the hill for the Brewers on Saturday will be righty Jimmy Nelson,
who was a miserable 2-9 last season with a 4.93 ERA in 14 games (12 starts).
He didn’t inspire much confidence this spring either, pitching to a 6.23 ERA,
which does not include the 10 runs he gave up in a minor league game last
Milwaukee was 12-7 versus the Pirates last season, despite being outscored by
the Bucs, 81-66.