After blowing a big lead in the ninth inning to lose the finale of a 10-game road trip, the Milwaukee Brewers were eager to get back home. It didn't take them long to reacquaint themselves with Miller Park.
Coming off their highest-scoring game in more than three weeks, the Brewers go for their 14th win in 17 home games on Saturday when they continue their three-game series against the NL Central rival Pittsburgh Pirates.Milwaukee (47-39) took a 5-0 lead into the ninth inning of its game against Arizona on Thursday before three Brewers relievers coughed up the lead and failed to record an out. The 6-5 defeat capped a 5-5 trip for the Brewers, who are 21-26 overall on the road.Though manager Ned Yost admitted it would be a long flight back to Milwaukee after Thursday's collapse, his club was no doubt happy to return to Miller Park, where the Brewers improved to 26-13 with a 9-1 rout of the Pirates on Friday. They hadn't scored that many runs since a 9-6 win over Houston on June 12."You get mad and upset, but you realize you better forget it," Yost said of his team's ability to rebound.Milwaukee shortstop J.J. Hardy went 4-for-5 with a two-run home run, extending his hitting streak to 16 games -- the longest active streak in the majors. Hardy is batting .448 (30-for-67) with six homers, 10 doubles, 16 RBIs and 13 runs scored during the streak despite missing a week in mid-June with tightness in his shoulder."My shoulder's been feeling good and it's just been falling for me," Hardy said. "This is definitely up at the top with my hottest streaks ever."While Hardy and the Brewers got timely hits Friday, the Pirates (40-45) went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They left at least one man on base in every inning except the eighth, and stranded 12 overall."We did our job as far as getting (Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets') pitch count up, we didn't do our job as far as driving guys in," said Pirates manager John Russell, whose club is batting .278 with runners in scoring position.Russell's club hopes to get back on track against on Saturday against Pittsburgh native Dave Bush (4-8, 5.06 ERA). The right-hander hasn't fared well against his hometown club, going 1-4 with a 6.17 ERA in seven career games -- six starts -- against the Pirates. He was tagged for six runs in five innings of an 8-4 loss to them on May 22.After getting wins in back-to-back starts for the first time in nearly a year, Bush suffered a 6-3 loss to Arizona on Monday, giving up five runs and nine hits in five innings.He'll match up against Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm (5-5, 4.28), who's 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA in his last six starts. Maholm held Cincinnati to two runs in seven innings of his last outing Monday, and did not get a decision in Pittsburgh's 4-3 loss.Maholm has lost his last three starts against the Brewers, falling to 2-3 with a 4.26 ERA in six lifetime starts.