MILWAUKEE -- Before his team departed Pittsburgh for Milwaukee, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he wasn't daunted by the franchise's lack of success in the Brew City.
And now, after winning three in a row to take a series at Miller Park for the first time since 2013, Hurdle
"I said before we left that we were due," Hurdle said. "We haven't played well here. You have to go out and play. "It's very refreshing to come here and do it the way that we did it tonight on top of the other games; 3-2, 5-3 last night. Both of them were push and shove back and forth and this one was another one where we battled and came back. We have a tough team. We have a gritty team."
Pittsburgh will go for the sweep Sunday when right-hander Ivan Nova takes the mound looking to build off his best start of the season.
Making his fourth start for Pittsburgh since being acquired from the Yankees, Nova went the distance his last time out, allowing just a run on six hits and a walk while striking out six in a 7-1 victory over the Astros.
"We couldn't really get the ball on the barrel and mount any sort of rally against him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "When he needed a ground-ball, he got it."
Nova was 7-6 with a 4.90 ERA in 21 appearances (15 starts) with the Yankees this season but since joining the Pirates, he's 3-0 with a 3.20.
He credits a lighter atmosphere as a big reason for his turnaround.
"All you do is stop and laugh sometimes," Nova said. "That was something you usually didn't do in New York."
Milwaukee hands the ball to right-hander Chase Anderson, whose first season with the Brewers has been a rocky one.
Acquired last winter from Arizona, Anderson has gone 7-10 with a 4.99 ERA in 25 appearances (24 starts). He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last 10 starts, but hasn't gotten past the fifth inning in all but one of those outings.
He took no decision in his last start, going five innings against the Rockies while allowing three runs on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out seven.
"He got through it," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "(Nolan) Arenado is such a dangerous hitter. He's pretty locked in right now. He got a first-pitch changeup on him and hit it well (for a home run). The fifth was a big inning for him to get through. He made some big pitches in the fifth to get through it."
The Pirates are going for their first sweep of the Brewers since taking a three-game series last April at PNC Park. It would be their first sweep in Milwaukee since April 30-May 2, 2004.