Milwaukee's 10-4 win over Pittsburgh on Monday night was just the latest piece in a long line of evidence that leads to one conclusion: The Brewers are all but unbeatable when the Pirates come to Miller Park.
The Brewers are 45-7 against the Pirates at home since 2007, and they'll look to improve on that mark Tuesday night when Marco Estrada squares off against James McDonald.
"Since I've been here , if we'd only played .500 ball against the Padres and the Brewers, it would've made everybody's life a little easier," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've talked about this internally ... we need to do something different. We need to play good baseball against these guys, that's what we've not done consistently. That simple."
Overall, the Brewers are 70-24 against the Pirates since '07, the best record by any team against a divisional opponent during that stretch, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Milwaukee has won seven straight against Pittsburgh, including Monday night's victory.
"We've done well, since I've been here, against the Pirates," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Hopefully it will continue. ... But we know they've got a real good team. They've pitched well this year and they're swinging the bats real well right now."
But the Pirates have never swung the bat particularly well against Estrada. The Bucs have a combined .176/.194/.286 batting line in 93 plate appearances against the right-hander, including more strikeouts (24) than hits (16).
Overall, Estrada is 3-0 with a 1.43 ERA in his career against Pittsburgh.
"The guy [Tuesday] night, we haven't touched," Hurdle said. "He's basically put it on us."
That's far from the case for McDonald. The Brewers own a collective .377/.449/.721 batting line against McDonald, who is 1-3 with a 6.98 ERA in nine career appearances, including five starts, against Milwaukee.
And to break the Pirates' skid at Miller Park, McDonald will have to snap one of his own: He's 1-3 with an 8.17 ERA there.
Pirates: Martin earns NL Player of the Week honors
Russell Martin has officially bounced back from his 2-for-32 start at the plate. The Pirates catcher was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday after a four-homer week in which he hit .375 (9-for-24) and led the NL with 23 total bases and a .958 slugging percentage.
"This is why we got him, why we were so aggressive to get him," Hurdle said. "We talked a lot over the winter about how he can ramp up his offense."
• Hurdle hopes to have Travis Snider (right side tightness) back in the lineup Tuesday. If he's not ready, the Pirates will have to start the right-handed-hitting Gaby Sanchez against Estrada.
Brewers: Aramis could return this week
Aramis Ramirez continued his rehab from a sprained left knee Monday afternoon, making some slight turns while running in the outfield. He plans on running the bases Tuesday and could return later this week.
Ramirez sustained the injury April 5 while sliding into second base.
"He's been pushing it, and the next day he's not coming up sore, so that's a good thing," Roenicke said.
• Corey Hart said he is hoping to return to the Brewers on May 30, the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list. Hart had surgery on his right knee in January and has been working out and throwing as part of his rehab. He rejoined the club in Los Angeles on Sunday.
"I've progressed a lot lately," Hart said Monday. "Over the last week and a half, I've done a lot. Everything's going well. ... At home, I felt like I was a super fan. Now I feel like I'm actually part of the team. Being around the guys, being in the clubhouse, I feel like I can contribute."
• After a five-run first inning against the Pirates on Monday night, the Brewers have outscored opponents, 22-6, in the opening frame this year.
• The Pirates, meanwhile, have scored 47 of their 102 runs this year in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, outscoring opponents, 47-18, in the final three frames.