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Rodriguez carries unblemished mark into Miller Park

(Sports Network) - Stingy left-hander Wandy Rodriguez can stay unbeaten for 2013 on Monday night when the Pittsburgh Pirates visit Miller Park to open a three-game series with the host Milwaukee Brewers.

The Pirates enter the series atop the National League's Central Division by a half-game over St. Louis and 1 1/2 games over Cincinnati, while the Brewers sit close behind in fourth - just two games off the pace.

Rodriguez, acquired from Houston at last season's trade deadline, was 5-4 in 13 appearances with his new team in 2012 and has yet to lose in four games so far this spring.

He allowed two hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings of a 3-0 defeat of the Chicago Cubs on April 3 and returned for seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball while beating Atlanta, 6-0, in April 19.

The Pirates, who are 4-0 in the games he's pitched, have outscored opponents, 19-6, in those games.

Rodriguez is 8-9 in 24 appearances against the Brewers with a 3.80 earned run average across 139 2/3 innings.

Milwaukee replies with righty Yovani Gallardo, who's won two straight starts after a three-start drought to begin the season.

The 27-year-old was 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA after facing Colorado, Arizona and St. Louis to begin the month, but he's since allowed only four runs on 13 hits in 12 2/3 innings while topping San Francisco and San Diego on April 18 and 23.

A 16-game winner in 2012 and a 17-time winner in 2011, Gallardo is 9-2 in 15 lifetime meetings with the Brewers.

He's 21 games above .500 (40-19) as a home-field pitcher, while winning 31 of 56 career decision on the road.

On Sunday in St. Louis, Russell Martin hit two of Pittsburgh's four home runs to back a second straight solid outing from Jeff Locke.

The Pirates left-hander held St. Louis to three hits over seven scoreless innings, as Pittsburgh beat the Cardinals, 9-0, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.

Locke (3-1) picked up from where he left off in his previous starting assignment. He gave up only two hits in six frames of Tuesday's 2-0 win at Philadelphia.

Jose Tabata and Garrett Jones each launched solo homers for the Pirates, who improved to 14-5 in their last 19 games.

In Los Angeles, Carl Crawford hit two home runs and Clayton Kershaw pitched eight innings of shutout baseball as the Dodgers blanked the Brewers, 2-0, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Kyle Lohse (1-2) got the start for the Brewers, who came into the game having won 10 of their last 12 games. Outside the two home runs, he allowed just three other hits over seven innings, but the lack of offense prevented him from getting a win.

The Brewers have won the season series in each of the last six years, including 11 of 15 games in 2012. The Pirates last won it in 2006, when they took nine of 16 games.

04/29 10:52:22 ET