MLB Game Preview - Milwaukee at Pittsburgh
Mon Aug 5, 2019 7:05 PM EDT

MIA
2
NYM
6
F
MIL
9
PIT
7
F
NYY
9
BAL
6
F
LAA
4
CIN
7
F
CHW
7
DET
4
F
KC
5
BOS
7
F
TOR
2
TB
0
F
TEX
1
CLE
0
F
MIA
4
NYM
5
F
OAK
5
CHC
6
F
ATL
3
MIN
5
F
PHI
7
ARI
3
F
WAS
4
SF
0
F
STL
0
LAD
8
F
Pirates, Brewers both battling woes heading into series
Sun Aug 4, 2019 11:25 PM

The Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking for runs and rebound performances when they open a three-game series Monday at PNC Park.

The Brewers got swept by the Chicago Cubs over the weekend and have lost four straight, including a 7-2 setback Sunday. One of their most recent problems is unexpected.

With a lineup studded with, well, offensive studs, the Brewers find themselves struggling offensively. They have scored just 14 runs in their past six games. Over the past two games, they are 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

"Look, it's a really important part of the rest of the season for us -- to put runs on the board," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said during the series against the Cubs. "We're very capable of it. I think we have the names in the lineup we want, the health. It's all there. And it just happened. The big hits just haven't been there."

It might be a type of malaise, even while the Brewers are chasing the division title in the National League Central.

"It's just one of those times," Milwaukee's Eric Thames said. "We're approaching the dog days of August, and that's when everyone gets slow. The bat's getting a little heavier, the body's getting tired. That happens throughout the league. Arms get tired, too.

"This is the month you have to really grind it out. Yeah, it's going to be hard to score runs sometimes, but that's when you have to scrape runs together."

The Pirates, meanwhile, have dropped seven straight series and 18 of 22 games since the All-Star break. That includes Sunday's 13-2 pounding by the New York Mets when they were held to four hits.

"At the end of the day we played 16 really good innings of baseball, and 11 we were short on. We lose the series," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of losing two of three against the Mets.

Since the start of 2017, the Pirates are 17-10 against the Brewers at PNC Park, outscoring them 122-108. Pittsburgh took two of three July 5-7.

In the series opener Monday, Milwaukee right-hander Jordan Lyles (6-7, 5.15 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh righty Dario Agrazal (2-2, 3.65).

Lyles will be facing his former club. He had grown ineffective -- 1-6 in nine starts after going 4-1 over his first eight starts -- before Pittsburgh traded him to the Brewers a couple days before the trade deadline.

He is 1-5 with a 6.99 ERA in 13 career appearances, eight of them starts, against Pittsburgh.

This is Lyles' second go-round with Milwaukee, but this time he is being used as a starter, and it began well. On Wednesday, in a 4-2 win over Oakland, he gave up one run and three hits in five innings, with four strikeouts and two walks.

"A breath of fresh air," Lyles said. "A new start. A division race. New life, I guess you can say."

Agrazal, a rookie, has been pressed into service because of injuries to Pittsburgh starters. He will be making his eighth major league start.

He has lost his past two starts, giving up eight earned runs and five homers in those contests.

He has faced Milwaukee once, going six innings in a 12-2 win July 6. Of the five hits he allowed, two were homers to Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Milwaukee            
Pittsburgh            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Jordan Lyles - TEX
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Pittsburgh
Dario Agrazal - DET
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Milwaukee

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report