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Brewers-Pirates Preview

The Associated Press

The visiting Milwaukee Brewers are in position to take another series from the Pittsburgh Pirates and have to like Sunday's matchup on the mound.

Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo usually pitches well against Pittsburgh while the Pirates appear to be using a fill-in starter in Jeff Locke.

Milwaukee (37-26) improved to 9-3 in the season series after evening this three-game set with Saturday's 9-3 rout. Lyle Overbay hit a tiebreaking two-run single in a three-run fourth inning that put the Brewers ahead for good as they bounced back from Friday's 15-5 loss.

''This was a good win,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. ''It feels good to come back the next day and play well. We got some big hits, took advantage of some opportunities they gave us and got solid pitching.''

Now the Brewers will give the ball to Gallardo (3-4, 4.08 ERA), who is 11-4 with a 2.71 ERA against Pittsburgh (29-32). He is 0-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three 2014 starts versus the Pirates, with Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin the only Pittsburgh hitters with more than one hit against him this season.

Gallardo looks to regroup after giving up a season-high six runs over five innings Tuesday in a 6-4 home loss to Minnesota. He was baffled since he said his pregame bullpen session went very well.

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 1.62 ERA in nine career starts at PNC Park.

Pedro Alvarez is 2 for 26 against Gallardo, but the Pittsburgh slugger enters this contest 10 for 23 with seven RBIs in a six-game hitting streak to start June.

The Pirates will likely start Locke (0-0, 10.13), although there is a chance scheduled starter Charlie Morton (2-7, 3.31) will pitch.

The club has scratched an injured Gerrit Cole from Monday's start against the Chicago Cubs. Locke is slated to start Sunday but could pitch Monday if manager Clint Hurdle decides to go with Morton.

The likelihood is Locke will make his second 2014 start. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts against the Brewers, who are 10-4 against southpaws.

Morton is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts against Milwaukee this year and 2-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 11 overall.

Pittsburgh is hoping to fare better defensively than it did Saturday, finishing with five errors for the first time in two seasons.

''We gave up a lot of free bases with the errors,'' Hurdle said. ''From a fielding perspective, we were all over the place. We made it a lot tougher on our pitchers than it needed to be.''

Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte is mired in an 0-for-20 slump and has not started in four straight games. It is unlikely he will back in the lineup Sunday since he is 3 for 16 against Gallardo.

Josh Harrison is batting .378 during a 10-game hitting streak that has matched his career high.

Khris Davis is swinging a hot bat for Milwaukee, going 19 for 44 (.432) with four homers and 11 RBIs in his last 12 games. He's 11 for 26 during a seven-game hit streak versus the Pirates.

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