Pirates, Brewers renew hostilities in Milwaukee

Both benches cleared the last time the National League Central rival Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates squared off.

The two clubs will start a three-game series Tuesday, but this time it will be from Milwaukee's Miller Park.


Milwaukee recorded a 3-2 win in 14 innings at PNC Park nearly a month ago and a melee ensued after Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez admired what he thought was a home run to center field. He flipped his bat in admiration before trotting around the bases, but had to hustle to third after the ball caromed off the wall. Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, who gets the nod Tuesday, didn't appreciate Gomez's actions and appeared to say something as he walked back to the mound after backing up the base.

Gomez, who got into a similar altercation with then-Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann at home plate last season, took off his helmet and moved in Cole's direction as the benches cleared and a scuffle ensued. Gomez had to be restrained by umpires and players and appeared to throw at least one punch before he was ejected. Other players threw punches as well.


"I'm not apologizing for nothing I did today," Gomez said afterward. "This is my job, I've been doing it for eight years like that. They know I play like that. It's not to disrespect nobody."

The Brewers took three of four from the Pirates in that series and are 6-1 this season against them. They swept a three-game set at Miller Park from April 11-13.

Milwaukee won two of three meetings with the New York Yankees over the weekend and took the set with Sunday's 6-5 victory, as Rickie Weeks scored the game- winning run on Mark Reynolds' single to left field. Weeks led off the ninth inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored one out later for lift Milwaukee to a 3-3 mark on a nine-game homestand.

"It was great, you come back the next half-inning and do that? That's outstanding," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Weeks went 3-for-5 with two RBI and closer Francisco Rodriguez picked up the win despite allowing the tying run in the top of the ninth. Matt Garza started for the Brewers and was touched for three runs in five innings.

Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who injured his hamstring in Saturday's game, did not play and is expected to be placed on the disabled list. In other news for the Brewers, slugger Ryan Braun could come off the DL soon and has been sidelined with a rib issue. Braun last played on April 26 and is batting .318 with six homers and 18 RBI.


Marco Estrada will get things going for the Brewers when he takes the mound Tuesday. Estrada is 2-1 in seven starts with a 3.53 ERA and has posted back- to-back no-decisions. In a 7-5 loss to Arizona last Tuesday, Estrada gave up four runs in six innings and has allowed 10 runs in the last three starts.

Estrada, a right-hander, tossed six innings of one-run ball in a 3-2 win at Pittsburgh on April 20, when the scuffle broke out between the teams. He is 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 career games (9 starts) against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh will play its next six games on the road against the Brewers and Yankees, and went 6-3 on a recent homestand. The Pirates had a four-game winning streak stopped and failed to record a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with Sunday's 6-5 loss.

Pirates starter Charlie Morton was dealt the loss for allowing four runs -- one earned -- and seven hits in six innings. The Cardinals set the tone with four runs in the top of the first inning.

"I just tried to get back out there and put up zeroes after that first inning," Morton said.


Jordy Mercer hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Pedro Alvarez collected three hits and an RBI in defeat.

The Pirates, who have lost three in a row on the road, hope Cole can win his second straight start when he toes the rubber Tuesday. Cole struck out seven and walked only one batter in eight innings of work in a 4-3 win over San Francisco on Wednesday.

Cole was winless (0-2) in his previous four trips to the mound and improved to 3-2 on the season to go along with a 3.64 ERA. In his last start against Milwaukee on Easter Sunday, Cole hurled eight innings of two-run ball for the no-decision.

The righty is 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers.


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