Brewers Turn to Ace

Suddenly stumbling in Pittsburgh, the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers turn to their ace to help them avoid their first three-game losing streak in nearly a month.

Ben Sheets looks to win five straight starts for the first time in his career on Thursday when the Brewers conclude their four-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Oddsmakers have made Milwaukee -125 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 59% of bets for this game have been placed on Milwaukee -125 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Milwaukee (48-36) lost 5-3 to Pittsburgh on the Fourth of July, but remained 5 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the division.

Rookie Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer on Wednesday, and is batting .429 (24-for-56) with four home runs, seven doubles and 17 RBIs in his last 13 games.

The Brewers won Monday's series opener 10-3, but have dropped the last two to the Pirates (37-47). Milwaukee has not lost three straight since June 6-9.

The Brewers' struggles in Pittsburgh are nothing new. Since its opening in 2001, Milwaukee is just 19-39 at PNC Park, and has lost 11 of its last 15 there.

"I don't know why, it's always tough here," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "It's always a battle for us here. It's just tough for us right here."

Sheets (10-3, 3.19 ERA) tries to get Milwaukee back on track.

He has won six straight decisions for the first time since May 29-June 29, 2001 - his rookie season - and has posted a 3.14 ERA in winning his last four starts.

Sheets, who is 9-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 11 starts since May 1, was named the NL pitcher of the month for June on Monday, one day after he was selected to his third All-Star game.

On Saturday, the right-hander gave up four runs - his most in 14 starts - and six hits but struck out a season-high 11 in eight innings of a 13-4 victory over the Cubs.

"Benny has always been that guy," Yost said. "He's our No. 1 guy. You know what he's capable of doing when he gets it rolling, and he's rolling."

Sheets has also been sharp against the Pirates lately, going 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his last six starts against them dating to 2004. In his only outing against them this season, he gave up two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, but did not receive a decision in Milwaukee's 6-4 victory on May 6.

The Pirates have won six of nine since losing five in a row.

Adam LaRoche went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer on Wednesday, and is batting .424 (14-for-33) with three home runs and nine RBIs during a season-high eight-game hitting streak.

Tom Gorzelanny (8-4, 3.05) takes the hill on Thursday in his final attempt to prove he deserves to be on the NL All-Star team.

Gorzelanny was not named to the All-Star team on Sunday, but he can still make it if fans choose him as part of the final vote via the Internet.

The 24-year-old left-hander leads the Pirates in victories, and is 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA in his last three starts. He gave up two runs, five hits and struck out six in 7 1-3 innings of a 7-2 win over Washington on Saturday.

"It was another great pitching performance by Tom Gorzelanny," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "There has been a tremendous show of consistency with each and every start."

Gorzelanny has been stellar in his two career starts against the Brewers, allowing four runs in 14 innings. In his only start against them this season, he yielded two runs and six hits in seven innings of a 4-2 victory on May 3.

by: Michael Cash - – Email Us

More MLB Baseball coverage from

 - MLB news wire
 - Current MLB Injuries
 - 2007 MLB standings
 - 2007 MLB schedule
 - 2007 MLB Umpire sheet
 - 2007 MLB stats
 - MLB scoreboard
 - Expert MLB picks
 - Accuscore predictions
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - MLB home

Recent MLB Discussions


MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Headlines

More inMLB News  

MLB Team Pages