The last-place Pittsburgh Pirates look to match their longest winning streak of the season while continuing to frustrate the Milwaukee Brewers when they play the middle game of their three-game set at PNC Park on Tuesday.
All-star Jason Bay did not play in Monday’s 4-2 victory for the Pirates (46-73), the team’s fourth straight win, and he might be out of the lineup again Tuesday.
Bay missed the game with tightness in his upper right hamstring, snapping his streak of 307 consecutive starts dating back to Sept. 3, 2004. It was the fourth-longest active streak in the majors.
“It’s probably for the best if we just take a couple of days,” said Bay, who is listed as day-to-day. “It’s a little tough to take. But at the same time, I didn’t start out at all to break Cal Ripken’s streak.”
Bay injured himself while stretching before Sunday’s 7-0 win over St. Louis, but ended up hitting his 25th homer in that game as the Pirates completed a sweep of the first-place St. Louis Cardinals.
“Of course you want to have him in your lineup,” Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. “But with some of the players we have now, you can feel good about the lineup we put out there even when a guy like Jason is not playing. That shows where we are as a ballclub now.”
After being swept by the Brewers (55-63) their opening series of the season, the Brewers (46-73) have won seven of their last eight meetings with Milwaukee.
The Pirates pitching has been dominant during their current winning streak, just like it was during their season-high five-game run from July 25-30.
Pittsburgh allowed nine total runs during that win streak, and during its current streak it has given up just five.
Rookie Tom Gorzelanny (2-3, 4.19 ERA) looks to give the Pirates another solid outing when he takes the mound Tuesday. Gorzelanny is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in his last four starts, allowing two runs or fewer in all of them.
The 24-year-old left-hander allowed two runs and five hits in six innings of a 5-2 loss to Houston on Thursday.
The Brewers counter with Doug Davis (8-6, 5.02), who looks to extend his season-high winning streak to four games.
Davis hasn’t been dominating his opponents lately, but has pitched well enough to win with a strong offense behind him. He is 3-0 with a 6.08 ERA in his last four starts, but has received 27 runs in support in those contests.
The left-hander allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings of an 8-6 win over Chicago on Thursday.
“They have scored me some runs, and they’re playing good defense behind me,” said Davis. “It could be karma, I don’t know. Hopefully, they keep it up, and hopefully, I’ll keep it up.”
Davis is 4-3 with a 4.79 ERA in 14 career games against the Brewers.
Milwaukee second baseman Tony Graffanino went 2-for-3 with a double on Monday, and is 9-for-19 (.474) with five doubles and five RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.