MLB

Brewers-Pirates Preview

Starling Marte continues to come up big against Milwaukee, driving in more runs in the first two games of this series than the entire Brewers' lineup.

He and Gerrit Cole will try to push the Pittsburgh Pirates to a sweep Sunday.

Marte has as many RBIs in 6-3 and 6-2 wins in this series - seven - as the Brewers have runs in their last four games. He went deep for the second straight day in Saturday's 6-2 win, knocking in a career-high five runs.

All three of his homers this season have come against Milwaukee, and he is 15 for 39 (.385) with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 11 matchups.

The Pirates (5-6) have scored 28 runs while taking four of five meetings.

Milwaukee, 2-9 for the first time since 2002, has never lost 10 of its first 12. The Brewers have dropped four in a row twice already. Its second four-game losing streak last year didn't come until July 4.

"We're trying not to worry about what's gone on in the past," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I think if we stay focused that way we're going to get through this easier."

Having totaled five runs in the previous three losses, Roenicke decided to fiddle with his lineup, slotting Ryan Braun into the leadoff spot for the first time in his career. The move seemed to spark Braun, who entered hitting .226 but was 2 for 3. The rest of the order was largely ineffective, though, outside of Jean Segura, who was 2 for 4.

Cole (1-0, 3.27 ERA) was impressive in a 5-4 home win over Detroit on Monday, limiting the Tigers to one run and three hits over six-plus innings with eight strikeouts. It was his fifth straight quality start at PNC Park and third straight victory there, though he downplayed the recent success in his own park.

"I wouldn't say I'm more comfortable here," he told MLB's official website. "I've made most of my starts here, of course, so I'm more familiar with how it plays. But more comfortable? Not really."

Cole is 1-2 with a 3.27 ERA in five career starts against the Brewers, not winning since his first matchup as a rookie in 2013.

Opposing Cole will be Matt Garza (1-1, 4.22), who has one quality start in his last six matchups with Pittsburgh, going 1-2 with a 4.85 ERA in that span. He bucked some bad history in his previous outing, though, winning in St. Louis for the first time in a 5-4 victory on Monday, giving up one earned run in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander found trouble with five walks - one shy of a career high - but hitters were 1 for 9 against him with runners in scoring position.

Garza is in danger of failing to make it through the sixth inning in any of his first three starts for the first time since 2008.

Marte is 2 for 5 against him while Pedro Alvarez is 8 for 18 with a homer and two doubles.

Segura is 6 for 15 off Cole with two doubles while Scooter Gennett is 6 for 12.

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