The Pittsburgh Pirates go after their third straight win this evening when they open a three-game set with the Minnesota Twins at PNC Park.
The Pirates won the final two games of their set with the Cleveland Indians, as Pedro Alvarez hit a pair of three-run home runs to lead Pittsburgh to a 9-5 win in Sunday's rubber match at Progressive Field. Alex Presley also hit a homer for the Pirates, who had lost four in a row before their current tear.
"It's a lot of fun to win some ballgames," said Alvarez. "I think we did a good job of scoring some runs, putting pressure on them and taking care of some their mistakes."
Pirates starter Brad Lincoln was ineffective, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk in just 3 1/3 innings. Tony Watson (4-0) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
Getting the call for the Bucs tonight will be righty Kevin Correia, who is 2-6 with a 4.43 ERA. Correia fell for the sixth time in seven decisions on Wednesday in Baltimore, as he allowed five runs (4 earned) and 10 hits in six innings.
He has never faced the Twins, who will counter with lefty Scott Diamond.
Diamond lost to Philadelphia on Thursday, allowing four runs and five hits - two home runs - in six innings to drop him to 5-2 to go along with a 2.13 ERA.
"I challenged a lot of guys and was able to mix it up a little bit," Diamond said. "If I was able to take those two pitches back, that would have been a different ballgame."
This will be his first-ever appearance against the Pirates.
The Twins snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday, as Denard Span ended a marathon with Milwaukee, driving home the winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the 15th inning to lift Minnesota to a 5-4 victory at Target Field.
"Both bullpens did a lot of pitching. So it was just one of those things where it was nice we were able to come out on top," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Span also finished with four hits for the Twins, while Anthony Swarzak (1-4), the sixth Minnesota reliever used in the contest, picked up the win.
Minnesota took two of three from the Pirates the last time these teams met back in 2009.