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Pirates-Brewers Preview

Andrew McCutchen couldn't hold back his frustration when discussing the injuries that have hindered him since spring training.

After getting a glimpse of the lineup without him, the Pittsburgh Pirates sure hope he won't have to miss any more time.

McCutchen hopes to play Sunday as Pittsburgh concludes a three-game set with the host Milwaukee Brewers.

The 2013 NL MVP went 0 for 12 over his last three games after homering and finishing with two hits in Monday's season-opening loss to Cincinnati. After hitting a fly ball in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-2 win over Milwaukee, he felt pain in his left knee.

That discomfort has been lingering for weeks, and it forced him to sit out Saturday's 6-0 loss to the Brewers. He also said he had to overcome general lower-body soreness during the spring.

"I want to be out there with nothing hindering me from performing the way I know I can," McCutchen told MLB's official website. "Right now, I'm not there. And it's how it's been for a while. I'm trying to battle, man, do what I need to do to get that back. Treatment and a little rest will hopefully propel me into not having an issue any more."

McCutchen added that "my leg would have to fall off" for him to go on the disabled list, but there's still a chance he could rest for this contest. The Pirates (1-4) couldn't get much going without him, mustering only two hits Saturday.

Pittsburgh is batting .202 through its first five games and has struck out a major league-high 56 times.

''We haven't put the consistency on the offensive side of the ball that we're capable of,'' manager Clint Hurdle said, ''and the strikeouts have been challenging.''

McCutchen is hitting .317 with two homers and three doubles lifetime off Kyle Lohse, who was roughed up in his first outing of 2015.

The right-hander gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 10-0 loss to Colorado on Monday. He realized outings like that must be few and far between despite having plenty of time to get back on track.

"Doesn't matter if it's the first one, the last one or somewhere in the middle," Lohse said. "I was frustrated. I wasn't doing what I normally do, executing pitches. I kind of got outside of my normal sequences and you saw the result. I couldn't get it back going."

Lohse had similar troubles the last time he faced the Pirates, allowing eight runs in five-plus innings of a 15-5 loss June 6. He went 6-0 with a 2.97 ERA in his previous 10 starts against Pittsburgh.

The Brewers (1-4) became the last team to pick up a victory with the late-afternoon win Saturday, as Jean Segura and Hector Gomez each drove in two runs.

"The guys wanted to see me smile today,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. ''I had a lot to smile about in that ballgame.''

Segura is 6 for 15 with a homer and has hit safely in each contest.

''As soon as you get that feeling, you're going to be comfortable no matter what,'' Segura said. ''You don't care who's on the mound, who's pitching.''

Milwaukee originally was slated to face Francisco Liriano in the finale, but he's currently in the Dominican Republic for the birth of his daughter and instead will start against Detroit on Wednesday.

The Pirates recalled Casey Sadler to replace Liriano. Sadler made six relief appearances in four separate stints with Pittsburgh as a rookie last season, going 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA in 10 1-3 innings.

The right-hander allowed two runs in two innings when the Pirates beat Lohse in June.

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