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Pre-game notes from Pirates-Brewers

· Center fielder Nate McLouth, who will miss his fifth consecutive game, threw for about 10 minutes in the outfield at Miller Park on Tuesday afternoon. Manager John Russell said McLouth could possibly hit off a tee Wednesday, if he continues to progress.

· Brewers reserve outfielder Chris Duffy, who spent seven years in the Pirates’ organization, spoke about his experience in Pittsburgh and the emotions of facing his former teammates last night.

“It was a little tough, rooting against those guys,” he said. “Coming up, years of having their back and wanting them to do well. It was weird.”

· Shortstop Jack Wilson, on the 15-day disabled list, will not resume any hitting or fielding activities before this weekend. The veteran, who had another visit with hand specialist Dr. Mark Baratz in Pittsburgh earlier this week, is eligible to come off the DL the second weekend in May.

· Brewers manager Ken Macha, a graduate of Gateway High and the University of Pittsburgh, is back in the dugout after two years as a TV analyst with the Red Sox.

Macha, who managed the Oakland As from 2003-06, will return to Pittsburgh as a manager for the first time when the Brewers swing by PNC Park for a brief two-game series beginning Monday. Macha, 58, lives in Latrobe.

“I’ve got a nice team,” Macha said before Tuesday’s game. “A great group of guys, hard-working and a very together group. Low maintanence. A whole bunch of positives.”

— John Grupp

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