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Preview: Pirates at Brewers

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Milwaukee Brewers have endured a miserable month of May, and even a rare victory was tainted by a setback. Closer Jim Henderson, who helped solidify the back of the bullpen after replacing John Axford one week into the season, injured his right hamstring with two outs in the ninth inning of a 3-2 series-opening win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Francisco Rodriguez got the final out for his first save, but manager Ron Roenicke said he is unsure how he will proceed with the closer's role.

Friday's win was only the fifth in 21 games for the Brewers, who snapped visiting Pittsburgh's four-game winning streak and extended the Pirates' woes in Milwaukee. The Pirates have won 11 of 14 overall entering Saturday's middle game of the series, but they are 1-3 at Miller Park this season and have lost 48 of 56 in Milwaukee since the start of the 2007 season. The Brewers ended another streak Friday, winning for the first time in 20 games when scoring three runs or fewer.

TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports (Pittsburgh), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates LH Jeff Locke (4-1, 2.73 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Mike Fiers (1-2, 5.93)

Locke will face the Brewers for the second time in 12 days after not factoring in the decision on May 14, when he allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings. He is coming off one of his best performances last time out, limiting Houston to three hits over seven scoreless frames. It marked the third time in six starts Locke has not given up a run. The 25-year-old southpaw is 3-0 with a total of seven runs permitted in that span and has not lost since his season debut.

Fiers will be making a spot start in place of Kyle Lohse, who is battling irritation in his right elbow. Fiers will hope to have better success than his only other previous start this season, when he was battered by Arizona for six runs on nine hits in five innings on April 6. Fiers has made only seven appearances since - none longer than two frames - so it's unlikely he can give the Brewers many innings. He is 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in five career appearances against Pittsburgh.

WALK-OFFS

1. Rodriguez needs five saves to become the 25th player in major-league history to reach 300.

2. Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen has tormented Fiers, going 5-for-9 with three home runs and eight RBIs.

3. Brewers CF Carlos Gomez is 3-for-5 with a homer, double and four RBIs versus Locke.

PREDICTION: Pirates 4, Brewers 2

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130525/preview-pirates-at-brewers