May 19: Brewers (15-24) @ Pirates (17-22)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

A few housekeeping items to take care of before getting to the afternoon’s news and notes…

  1. I wanted to introduce you to Matt Fortuna, who, beginning today, will be helping with Pirates coverage throughout the summer. You’ll be seeing his byline a lot, and you can follow him on twitter (@Matt_Fortuna) as he tweets Bucco-related news, too.
  2. So no one panics, I also wanted to let everyone know that this is the last game I will be covering until May 31. I am leaving tomorrow to head to Europe for 10 days and so I’ll be off the beat for a bit. Hopefully the break will get me refreshed enough for the grind of four more months of baseball when I return. You’ll be in good hands while I’m MIA, but the blog will obviously be on hiatus.

Now on to the important stuff…

TODAY’S NEWS AND NOTES:

  • Manager John Russell confirmed that RHP Brendan Donnelly will be activated off the DL on Thursday. A corresponding move will have to be made, and I’m still thinking it’s possible that the move could hinge on Brian Burres’ performance tonight. Another subpar outing and Burres could be nixed from the rotation.
  • Second baseman Aki Iwamura is still day-to-day with the tight right hamstring. He can pinch hit, as he did on Monday and Tuesday in Philly, but the running is still an issue. Bobby Crosby gets the start in Iwamura’s place tonight after Delwyn Young made the last two.
  • Maybe redemption isn’t the best word, but the Pirates are sure looking to fare better against the Brewers in this brief two-game series than they did when Milwaukee came to town last month. You might remember that the club was outscored 36-1 then. We won’t repeat that again.
  • OF Quincy Latimore hit another grand slam for the Bradenton Marauders last night, which gives him three already this season. That ties a Florida State League record. The outfield prospect entered Wednesday hitting .253 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 37 games this year.
  • The Brewers enter PNC Park having been swept in their last three series (0-8). For whatever reason, though, most of their problems have been at home. The Brewers are 4-14 at Miller Park, yet 11-10 on the road. Go figure.
  • After spending most of the season with the league’s worst ERA, the Pirates (5.68) have now climbed above the D-backs (5.75). The next target is Milwaukee (5.25).

Pirates lineup:

  1. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  2. Bobby Crosby (2B)
  3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Steve Pearce (1B)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  9. Brian Burres (LHP)

Brewers lineup:

  1. Rickie Weeks (2B)
  2. Alcides Escobar (SS)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Corey Hart (RF)
  7. Gregg Zaun (C)
  8. Jody Gerut (CF)
  9. Randy Wolf (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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