Brewers-Pirates Preview

Taylor Jungmann could be facing the right opponent after the worst start of his young career.

He beat the Pittsburgh Pirates three times a season ago as a rookie and meets them again Saturday night for the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.

Jungmann (0-1, 11.57 ERA) was tagged for a career-high eight runs in two-plus innings Monday in a 10-1 loss at St. Louis, with seven of his eight hits allowed going for extra bases. He had never yielded more than six runs in his first 22 outings before the shortest one of his career.

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"They hit fastballs, they hit breaking balls, they hit inside fastballs, they hit outside fastballs," Jungmann said. "It wasn't just one pitch they were going after."

The right-hander has had no such issues facing Pittsburgh, going 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four outings in 2015. He struck out 20 and limited the Pirates (5-6) to a .165 average.

The only Pittsburgh batter with more than two hits against him is Jung Ho Kang, who is still out following knee surgery last year. Josh Harrison, Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco and Francisco Cervelli are a combined 5 for 39 against him.

One factor against Jungmann is that Milwaukee (5-5) has dropped his last eight road outings, a span in which he is 0-7 with a 10.02 ERA.

The Brewers opened this three-game set with Friday's 8-4 win highlighted by Ryan Braun's pair of two-run homers for his first multi-homer effort since May 15 and 23rd of his career.

''Maybe I got lucky and the wind stopped blowing when I was up to bat,'' Braun said with a smile before adding, ''it was warmer here than it usually is at that time of the year, so I think that probably helped.''

The Pirates were blanked for six innings before they cut the gap to 5-4 in the seventh before Braun's second two-run blast in the eighth.

''It was good to get those tack-on runs,'' Braun said. ''The Pirates are one of the best teams in baseball and they are especially tough at home. You always want to get as many runs as you can against them.''

Jonathan Villar had three hits as he returned after missing the two previous games with a sore left ankle.

The Pirates have allowed 30 runs in losing four straight and have dropped six of seven since a 4-0 start.

''We need to execute our pitches better,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''We need to execute our locations better.''

They will send Jonathon Niese (1-0, 5.73) to the mound after he gave up four runs in six innings to get credit for Monday's 7-4 victory at Detroit.

The left-hander is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in eight starts versus the Brewers. Braun is 5 for 16 against him while Aaron Hill is 2 for 11 with a homer.

Marte went 3 for 5 on Friday and is hitting .421 in his last nine games. Pirates newcomer John Jaso has reached base in all of his 10 games, going 11 for 26 in a six-game hitting streak.