The Brewers have won all 10 games Duke has started at Miller Park since the Pirates left-hander entered the league, and they’ll get another shot at him Saturday night as they seek a 27th win in 29 home games against Pittsburgh.
Milwaukee (60-68) had dropped four straight at Miller Park before the Pirates came to town, but as usual, the NL Central’s last-place club provided the boost the Brewers needed. Alcides Escobar’s(notes) two-run triple sparked a six-run seventh inning Friday, leading Milwaukee back from two runs down to a 7-2 win over Pittsburgh.
The Brewers have won 26 of their last 28 home games against the Pirates (43-85).
“They’re one of the best hitting teams in all of baseball anyway. Just one play is all they need,” said Pittsburgh right fielder Lastings Milledge(notes), who misplayed Escobar’s liner into a three-base hit.
Duke (6-12, 5.10 ERA) has been on the hill for six of those losses, going 0-4 with an 8.56 ERA. In all, he’s 0-6 in 10 starts at Miller Park since coming up in 2005, and he’s posted a 10.43 ERA in his last eight outings there.
Duke was 0-2 with a 14.00 ERA in his first two starts against the Brewers this season, but held them to three runs over six innings in a 15-3 rout at PNC Park on July 21.
Ryan Braun is 4 for 7 with a homer against Duke in 2010, while Escobar is 3 for 9 with two triples.
The left-hander is coming off one of his best starts of the season, though. Duke lasted seven innings Sunday against the Mets, allowing only a first-inning run while outdueling Johan Santana(notes) in a 2-1 win.
“I really felt from the first inning on my location was good with all my pitches and I was able to mix them up,” Duke said. “The fact that I was able to bounce back after the run in the first inning really got the momentum in our favor.”
Chris Capuano(notes) (2-2, 3.72) counters for the Brewers in just his third start this season, his first since July 19 at Pittsburgh. The veteran left-hander - who spent 2008 and 2009 recovering from a second career Tommy John surgery - held the Pirates to a run and three hits over five innings in a 3-1 win, his first since May 7, 2007.
“Not too much is going to change,” Capuano told the Brewers’ official website. “From my perspective, one of my goals was to build up my innings and get back into the rotation at some point. I’m thankful they’re giving me the opportunity.”