After witnessing nine consecutive road losses, Ryan Braun deemed it imperative before his Milwaukee Brewers traveled to Pittsburgh that they win a series away from the comforts of Miller Park.
In their first game in the Steel City, the Brewers played like they heard him loud and clear.With their lengthy losing streak wiped away, Braun and the Brewers will look to guarantee themselves a series victory on Wednesday when they play the second of three games against the Pirates.Milwaukee (21-24) had lost five in a row overall and nine straight on the road after being swept in Boston over the weekend, which prompted Braun -- who leads the team with 13 homers and 36 RBIs -- to deliver a message to his floundering team."We have to figure it out in a hurry," Braun told the team's official Web site. "We have to go to Pittsburgh and find a way to win the series."They're off to a good start after jumping out to a seven-run lead on Tuesday night before putting away the Pirates 7-2.Braun, who had two hits and an RBI, was one of six Brewers to have multiple hits."We swung the bats the way we're capable of swinging," said Mike Cameron, who had three hits including a two-run homer. "Now, we need to continue to work."The second-year left fielder has certainly done his part to help Milwaukee despite its recent struggles. The reigning NL rookie of the year is hitting .404 (19-for-47) with eight homers and 13 RBIs in his last 11 games.The Brewers got 5 1-3 shutout innings from Manny Parra on Tuesday, and will turn to their ace to try to start building a winning streak on Wednesday.Ben Sheets (4-1, 3.25 ERA) was cruising in his last outing, shutting out the Dodgers after six innings on Thursday. But he gave up six runs in the seventh inning en route to a 7-2 loss."I would say that's probably my worst inning ever, personally," Sheets told the team's official Web site.The Pirates (21-24) will send struggling Ian Snell (2-2, 5.05) to the mound to counter Sheets.He's coming off another poor outing, when he allowed five runs on 11 hits over four innings against St. Louis on Thursday. Pittsburgh's 11-5 comeback win kept Snell off the hook for the loss, but he hasn't picked up a victory since April 12."I just think he hasn't found that right groove and right rhythm yet," manager John Russell told the team's official Web site. "He just hasn't found that comfort level yet. I think once he strings a couple together, he'll be fine."Snell might find his luck better against the Brewers. He's 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four career starts against them, striking out 26 while walking only five.Offensively, the Pirates are one of the top 10 scoring teams in the major leagues, averaging 4.9 runs. But they're only hitting .248 -- one of the worst averages in baseball -- and just .221 in dropping three of their last four games.Jason Bay has fit in with the trend of scoring runs but struggling to hit for average. He has three homers and six RBIs in his last nine games, but the right fielder is hitting just .143 (4-for-28) in that span.