Milwaukee throttled the Pirates in a three-game series sweep at home in mid-June and took a four-run lead in the opener of a series the teams opened on Friday in Pittsburgh
Not so long ago, Pittsburgh struggled to find much offense. Now the Pirates have won four straight games while posting a combined 29 runs
Santana, who during the winning streak is 10-for-18 (.556) with three homers, three doubles and six RBIs but has been linked to trade rumors, was giddy on Friday.
"It's a great city. I want to keep playing here," he told Apple TV.
Both teams got off to strong starts in April, but the Pirates had a bigger swoon in June, so they sit three games under .500
Neither team is in also-ran territory in the tight National League Central, and at four games over .500, the Brewers are in fairly good shape. They are 5-3 on their 10-game road trip
"We're in this thing," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said in the heady moments after his team won three of four against the New York Mets immediately before traveling to Pittsburgh.
Now there are some concerns.
The Brewers' bullpen entered Friday and closer Devin Williams was not available, so Matt Bush pitched the ninth and took the loss
"We got to where we wanted to. Just, the ninth didn't go well," Counsell said.
On Saturday, Milwaukee right-hander Corbin Burnes (5-5, 4.10 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Pittsburgh right-hander Johan Oviedo (3-8, 4.06).
Burnes has nine quality starts, but the Brewers are 8-8 in games he has started. He has given up at least one homer and seven hits in each of his past three starts
On Sunday at Cleveland, he was a little shaky, allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, but did not factor in the decision in a 10-inning Milwaukee win.
Burnes is 6-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 20 career games, eight of them starts, against the Pirates
Oviedo has lost his past five decisions, and he is coming off a tough-luck defeat on Sunday at Miami. In that game, he gave up one run in seven innings but got no run support in a 2-0 Pittsburgh loss. The lone run he allowed was a leadoff home run to Jonathan Davis in the third.
"He pitched his butt off," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. "I mean, a 3-2 fastball to Jonathan Davis, threw a strike and he hit it. Other than that, he was in control.
The good news for Oviedo is that Pittsburgh's offense has since come to life.
Oviedo is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in four career appearances, just one of them a start, against the Brewers. All came when he was with St. Louis
--Field Level Media