Right time to get hot


MILWAUKEE — The Pirates picked the right time to get hot. They are 6-1 so far in the midst of a 12-game stretch against NL Central Division foes. Last night, they banged out 13 hits, tying their season high (April 17 v. D’backs and May 3 v. Cards). If they win tonight and the Cards lose again, then Pirates will wake up tomorrow in second place in the division.

»»» Rehab: Last night, RHP Jeff Karstens (shoulder) made his third rehab start, his second with Triple-A Indy. He threw 82 pitches in five innings against Syracuse and allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits and one walk, and struck out six.

»»» Yoo-hoo, Leroux: Reliever Chris Leroux (pectoral) was scheduled to pitch today in an extrended spring training game in Florida. No word yet on how that went. I’ll keep ya posted.

»»» Cerveceros Day: The Brewers and Pirates today will wear special jerseys that celebrate Hispanic culture. The Brewers will wear gold jerseys with “Cerveceros” on the front, while the Pirates’ uni tops will say “Piratas.”

»»» The Hit Collector, indeed: Matt Hague has hit safely in all seven games in which he’s played since being recalled from Triple-A Indy. He has two game-winning RBI, one Wednesday v. the Reds and another a week ago when he was HBP by Cubs’ former closer (since demoted to the minors) Rafael Dolis.

Game 52: Pirates @ Brewers, 7:10 p.m. ET

Pirates (26-25): 1. Jose Tabata lf, 2. Garrett Jones rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Matt Hague 1b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. Erik Bedard lhp (3-5, 3.12)

Brewers (23-29): 1. Carlos Gomez cf, 2. Norichika Aoki lf, 3. Corey Hart rf, 4. Aramis Ramirez 3b, 5. Rickie Weeks 2b, 6. Cody Ransom ss, 7. Brooks Conrad 2b, 8. Martin Maldanodo c, 9. Shaun Marcum rhp (3-3, 3.63)