MLB

Preview: Brewers at Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- A rain delay of nearly 2 1/2 hours between the third and fourth innings Friday dashed strong starts by Pittsburgh's Chad Kuhl and Milwaukee's Jimmy Nelson.

Perhaps the teams and the starters will have better luck with the weather Saturday. According to weather.com, there is a 90 percent chance of rain during the day but that chance drops to 50 percent at night.

Luck hasn't exactly been on the side of the pitchers scheduled to start Saturday when the Brewers (15-15) face the Pirates (13-16) at PNC Park after Pittsburgh's 4-0 win in the series opener.

Brewers right-hander Matt Garza (1-0, 3.38 ERA) had a rough spring and started the season on the DL because of a right groin strain.

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Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole (1-3, 3.50), whose 2016 season was interrupted by three injuries, has had a couple of performances this season undermined by defensive lapses behind him.

For Garza, who will be making just his third start, patience paid off Sunday when he allowed three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in a 4-3 win against Atlanta. His 6 2/3 innings was his second-longest outing in two seasons.

"He used his off-speed pitches. He got ahead with his fastballs and then used his off-speed pitches to put away hitters," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"He used all three of his off-speed pitches to put away hitters. Really nice job using all his pitches and using his strengths to get ahead."

On Monday, Cole made his 100th career start for the Pirates, and a decent outing resulted in a no-decision. He gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk.

Cole's 3.25 ERA is the lowest through 100 starts for Pittsburgh since Zane Smith's 3.14 from 1990-94.

"Wow, that's pretty cool," Cole told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's my job, so I try to do my job well. … I put a lot into it, and I'm proud of the work I put in, so that's a nice stat to hear."

Cole's ERA this season is inflated dating to a five-run inning on opening day and a couple of unearned runs. Since that 5-3 opening day loss at Boston, he has allowed nine runs in 32 innings.

"You never know what you're going to get. You never know what you're going to see," Cole told the Post-Gazette. "You can do everything that you want to do, and it doesn't go your way. You're going to have some of those nights where you don't do anything right, and you figure out a way to get through it.

"It's just the beauty of the game."

Against Milwaukee, Cole is 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA in seven career starts, none of them coming last season.

Garza is 3-6 with a 4.43 ERA in 13 career starts against Pittsburgh.

The Brewers have been battling the weather all week. Their game against the Cardinals on Wednesday was rained out. Then the start time of Thursday's series finale was pushed back 5 1/2 hours due to the weather.