Series: Game 3 of 4

Pittsburgh leads 2-0 (as of 5/11)

Game 1: Friday, May 9
Game 2: Saturday, May 10
Game 3: Sunday, May 11
Game 3: Monday, May 12
Game 4: Monday, May 12

1:35 PM ET, May 11, 2008

PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Starting Pitchers

Atlanta: Jurrjens (13-10, 3.68 ERA)

Pittsburgh: Duke (5-14, 4.82 ERA)

Braves-Pirates Preview


The Pittsburgh Pirates are rolling -- and another home game against the Atlanta Braves might help them keep their winning streak going.

The Pirates will be trying for their longest winning streak in nearly four years on Sunday when they continue their four-game series with the Atlanta Braves.

Pittsburgh (17-19) beat the Braves 5-3 on Saturday for their fifth straight win. The Pirates haven't won six straight since winning 10 in a row June 26-July 5, 2004.

"We've been playing good baseball," manager John Russell told the Pirates' official team Web site. "I think you have to attribute it to our starting pitching. They have been throwing the ball very well, and (Tom) Gorzelanny did a great job tonight."

Gorzelanny lasted 7 1-3 innings and shut out the Braves after allowing Mark Teixeira's first inning, two-run homer. Jason Bay homered and doubled for the Pirates and is hitting 7-for-14 over his last four games.

Bay has hit six of his seven homers at PNC Park, where he had hit only 46 of his 118 career home runs coming into this season.

"It's nice when you see the ball well in your own ballpark, where you play 81 times," Bay said. "I don't have an answer for it, but I'm not going to question it."

The Pirates, who have won six straight at home, improved to 4-1 against the Braves (18-17) this season. Atlanta, which entered this series on the heels of a 6-0 homestand, has dropped six straight on the road and own the majors' worst road mark at 4-13.

"The longer this continues, the more pressure builds," center fielder Mark Kotsay told the Braves' site. "I think everybody is putting a little too much pressure on themselves at this point."

The Braves are hoping they have more success against Zach Duke (1-2, 4.60 ERA), who will be trying to build on his first win in nearly a year.

Duke allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 12-6 victory over San Francisco. Duke, who was out with left elbow tightness for more than two months last season, was winless in his first six starts this season and 12 since his last victory on June 12 against Texas.

Tuesday's outing was his longest since he went eight innings in a 3-0 win over the Mets on Sept. 17, 2006.

"It's been a little while, but better late than never," Duke told the Pirates' site. "It's just been a journey through the past six months to a year."

Duke is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in four career starts against the Braves. He went 5 2-3 innings and yielded three runs and 10 hits in Pittsburgh's 10-inning, 4-3 win in Atlanta on April 3.

Atlanta counters with Jair Jurrjens (4-2, 2.84), who is trying to win his fourth straight decision. The 22-year-old right-hander gave up just one run and matched his career high with eight strikeouts in six innings of Tuesday's 5-3 win over San Diego.

Jurrjens is in his first full season in the majors and has gone at least six innings in each of his last six starts.

"He's been tremendous this year," teammate Chipper Jones said. "Words can't describe how good he's been and how solid and consistent."

Jurrjens made his Atlanta debut against Pittsburgh on April 2, allowing two runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 10-2 win at Turner Field.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Gameday Matchup

Current StreakL1W1
Last 105-53-7

Pitching Matchup

J. Jurrjens
13-10, 3.68 ERA

Last Game:
9/22 at PHI
7.0 IP, 2 ER
Dec = ND
Z. Duke
5-14, 4.82 ERA

Last Game:
9/25 at MIL
7.0 IP, 1 ER
Dec = ND

Gameday Lineups

1. O. Infante, 2B F. Sanchez, 2B
2. Y. Escobar, SS N. McLouth, CF
3. C. Jones, 3B J. Bay, LF
4. M. Teixeira, 1B R. Doumit, C
5. J. Francoeur, RF J. Michaels, RF
6. M. Diaz, LF A. LaRoche, 1B
7. C. Miller, C J. Bautista, 3B
8. G. Blanco, CF B. Bixler, SS
9. J. Jurrjens, P Z. Duke, P