Pittsburgh (48-52) at Milwaukee (49-52)

Fog Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 30, 2004
  • TV: FSPI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With a chance to move out of last place in the NL Central, the Pittsburgh Pirates will send red-hot Sean Burnett to the mound to start the opener of a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Pirates, who are beginning a nine-game road trip, trail the fifth-place Brewers by a half-game.

In the Pirates’ 6-5 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday, Burnett won his fifth straight start despite allowing a season-high five runs and seven hits over a season low-tying 5 1-3 innings. The 21-year-old left-hander, who hadn’t allowed a homer in his first seven major league starts, gave up two in as many innings.

“He took the ‘S’ off his chest. He’s not Superman like we thought he was,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon joked. “He’s young. He’s going to struggle from time-to-time, and there are still parts of the game he needs to master.

“What I like about the young man is his competitive spirit. He doesn’t give in. He continues to compete.”

The Pirates come in after dropping three of four to Atlanta, including Thursday’s 3-2 defeat.

Rob Mackowiak had two RBIs and two walks for Pittsburgh, which has still won 21 of 28 overall.

“We are going to go on the road and keep pushing, keep playing hard,” Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson said. “You can’t get down. We played hard and we should have won. We’ll keep going out there and playing hard.”

The Brewers drew a club-record 167,136 at Miller Park during their four-game series against the Chicago Cubs, but lost three times, including a 4-0 defeat on Thursday.

Milwaukee has dropped nine of 11 overall, and has been shut out nine times this season. Only Montreal has been blanked more (14). The Brewers are hitting .100 (11-for-110) with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break, including an 0-for-9 effort on Thursday.

“I kind of believe you make your own momentum,” manager Ned Yost said. “I really do. I think you go out every day and you have to take advantage of situations. Right now, we create situations but we don’t take advantage of them. That’s a little hill we’re going to have to get over here, soon.”

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Starting Pitchers

S. Burnett LAA vs. D. Davis CWS
5-5 Record 12-12
5.02 ERA 3.39
30 K 166
28 BB 79
1.59 WHIP 1.31