Pittsburgh (39-47) at Milwaukee (36-52)

  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Wed Jul 9, 2003
  • TV: FSPI, FSNO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In his first game back in the majors, Glendon Rusch is on the brink of matching a franchise record he’d like to avoid.

Fresh off a successful stint in the minors, Rusch looks to snap a career-high 10-game losing streak when the Milwaukee Brewers continue their four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.

Rusch moved in position to tie Chris Bosio’s team record of 11 straight losses with a 9-1 defeat to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 18. Rusch surrendered eight runs and six hits, while walking five, in just one inning, easily the worst outing of his career.

The Brewers then demoted Rusch to Triple-A Indianapolis to work out his problems. He responded by going 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA over three starts with the Indians, striking out 20 and walking just four in 21 innings.

“I feel good,” Rusch said. “I was able to go down and kind of clear my head a little bit. I had some fun and actually smiled a little bit.”

Rusch was scheduled to make another start at Indianapolis, but the Brewers recalled him early to take the place of struggling right-hander Dave Burba, who was demoted to the bullpen after two dismal starts.

The Brewers hope Rusch can recapture the form he displayed in his lone career win over the Pirates—a seven-inning, one-hit effort in a 5-3 victory on April 8.

The Brewers have dropped seven of 10, including Tuesday’s 8-7, 10-inning loss. Jack Wilson hit a two-run homer in the 10th to help the Pirates overcome another blown save by Mike Williams.

Aramis Ramirez drove in two runs, and Jason Kendall had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 games for the Pirates, who have won five of six.

Kendall is hitting .444 (24-for-54) with seven RBIs and nine runs scored during the streak, lifting his average from .280 to a team-leading .309.

STANDINGS: Pirates - 5th place, 5 1/2 GB, NL Central. Brewers - 6th place, 9 1/2 GB, NL Central.

PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Kris Benson (5-8, 4.82 ERA). Benson has pitched well in his last two starts, yielding a combined two earned runs over 11 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander did not figure in the decision in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win over Houston on Friday despite allowing just one run and five hits over six innings. Benson is 2-3 with a 4.11 ERA in seven career starts against Milwaukee.

BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Rusch (1-11, 8.61 ERA). Rusch has struggled in his career against Pittsburgh, going 1-6 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 career appearances, including 10 starts.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Pirates - Kendall, .309 avg.; Reggie Sanders, 14 HRs; Ramirez, 55 RBIs; Kenny Lofton, 56 runs and 16 SBs. Brewers - Scott Podsednik, .327 avg.; Richie Sexson, 24 HRs and 58 runs; Geoff Jenkins, 68 RBIs; Eric Young, 19 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Brewers, 3-2.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - SS Wilson is batting .500 in 22 career at-bats against LHP Rusch with two doubles, one homer and four RBIs. … OF Matt Stairs had three hits Tuesday and is batting .394 (28-for-71) with seven doubles, nine homers and 18 RBIs in 25 games since returning from the DL on June 9. … RHP Mike Lincoln is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 14 career relief appearances against Milwaukee. Brewers - OF Jenkins is batting .455 with one RBI in 11 career at-bats against RHP Benson. … OF Podsednik had two hits Tuesday and is hitting .343 (71-for-206) with two homers and 20 RBIs since moving into the starting lineup May 13. … The Brewers are just one game below .500 over their last 47 games.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 20-21 on the road; Brewers - 17-30 at home.

INJURIES: Pirates - INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL. Brewers - RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Benson ARI vs. G. Rusch COL
5-9 Record 1-12
4.97 ERA 6.42
68 K 93
36 BB 45
1.55 WHIP 1.75