Brewers-Pirates Preview

The Associated Press

Runs have been difficult to come by at times for the Milwaukee Brewers, and scoring essentially has been a problem each time Kyle Lohse pitches.

Reversing that trend, though, may not be easy against Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jeff Locke, who takes the mound at home Tuesday night.

The Brewers (16-20) have been outscored by 25 runs while losing nine of 11 this month, beginning with a 6-4 defeat to Pittsburgh on May 1 that marks the Pirates' only victory in the last 11 meetings.

Milwaukee's scoring woes surface mainly when Lohse (1-4, 3.53 ERA) is on the hill, as he's received one or no runs of support five times in his seven starts.

Lohse, though, has posted a 4.93 ERA while suffering the loss in each of his last three outings. However, he's received 12 runs of support through 43 1-3 innings on the season.

"It's not something that I'm going around hanging my head about or saying anything," Lohse said after giving up four runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-1 loss to Texas on Wednesday.

"I don't worry about what our offense does. I've got to concentrate on what I'm doing out there. That's all I can control."

The right-hander has pitched well in his last five starts against Pittsburgh, going 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA. He likely hopes the offense can produce similarly to Monday, as Milwaukee beat the Pirates 5-1 in the series opener.

Norichika Aoki went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and young shortstop Jean Segura added three hits and three stolen bases for the Brewers, who played without Ryan Braun as he was given the night off to rest his sore neck.

Milwaukee stole six bases, with Aoki adding a pair and Carlos Gomez swiping another.

"It's the same as every night, we just try to stay aggressive on the basepaths and if you can go for the next base, we go for it," Aoki said.

Generating offense may be difficult against Locke, though.

Locke (3-1, 2.95) is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA over his last four starts after giving up one run in six innings of Pittsburgh's 3-2 loss to the New York Mets on Thursday. He's allowed three hits or fewer in each of those outings while posting an average of 0.88 walks and hits per inning in that stretch.

The left-hander has allowed one run or none in four of his seven starts.

Locke gave up five runs in four innings, including a two-run homer to Gomez, while falling 7-3 on Sept. 28, 2011, in his only start against the Brewers.

Segura is hitting an NL-best .368 with Gomez second at .367, and they'll look to improve those marks against a Pittsburgh team that had its three-game winning streak snapped Monday.

The Pirates (21-17) have lost four of five at home after mustering four hits, their fewest since also finishing with four in a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 7.

Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Neil Walker each went 0 for 4.

"This has not been the norm, this has been abnormal for us," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I'm going to go, take a shower, head to the house and get ready to play tomorrow."

The Pirates have lost five straight home meetings with the Brewers.

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