The Milwaukee Brewers were looking for some offense after a tough end to their recent trip. They've found it at Miller Park.
Milwaukee goes for a ninth straight home win and a 10th in a row overall against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Wednesday's series finale.
After striking out 12 times and being held to four hits in Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Brewers (14-11) have rebounded from their 3-3 trip with 28 total hits - 16 for extra bases - in a pair of wins over Pittsburgh (15-12). Yuniesky Betancourt, Jean Segura and Rickie Weeks all went deep in Tuesday's 12-8 victory after Milwaukee launched a season-high five homers in Monday's 10-4 win.
The Brewers, winners of 12 of 15, hadn't put up double-digit runs in back-to-back games since Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 against Houston.
"They play well here. They swing the bats well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Milwaukee, which has lost just seven times in 53 home games in this series since 2007, goes for the sweep with Hiram Burgos (1-0, 3.27 ERA) getting his first look at the Pirates. The right-hander makes his third career start after throwing six innings of three-run ball in Friday's 7-5 loss to the Dodgers.
"I was too much over the plate. But I did adjustments, and I kept a couple of hitters off balance, and the defense made really good plays for me," Burgos told the Brewers' official website. "I just tried to keep it close."
The Pirates' pitching performances in this series haven't come close to their previous two games, wins at St. Louis over the weekend that moved them into first place in the Central. Now percentage points behind Milwaukee for third, Pittsburgh will turn to Jeanmar Gomez (1-0, 2.63) as it tries to finish a 10-game trip with a winning record.
Gomez, solid in five relief appearances, has taken over Jonathan Sanchez' spot in the rotation. Sanchez was designated for assignment on Tuesday, a day after being demoted to the bullpen - he surrendered two runs on Monday. The left-hander drew a six-game suspension on Saturday after hitting St. Louis' Allen Craig with a pitch the day before.
Gomez came on in relief in that 9-1 loss, yielding three runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Hurdle will give Gomez his first start since Sept. 29 while with Cleveland instead of calling up Andrew Oliver or Gerrit Cole. The Pirates, instead, brought up Bryan Morris from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday to take Sanchez' spot in the bullpen.
"There'd be no benefit to calling someone up for one time, when we've got a guy in-house who has started in the past," Hurdle told the Pirates' official website.
Gomez has never faced Milwaukee.
The Brewers are probably getting tired of facing center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who is 5 for 9 with a homer and three RBIs in the series after going 1 for 22 to open the trip. Five of McCutchen's 20 hits during his 10-game hitting streak in Milwaukee have left the park.
Betancourt, the only Brewer on the roster to have faced Gomez, is 2 for 6 with a homer in that matchup. Betancourt and Pirates catcher Russell Martin, who hit his fourth homer in four games on Tuesday, have six long balls since April 16 - tied for second in the majors during that stretch.
The Brewers have 19 homers and are averaging 7.1 runs during their Miller Park winning streak.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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