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PIT@DET: Correia pitches six solid frames vs. Tigers

Fresh off a nine-game homestand, the Pirates are set to travel to the most unfriendly of confines, as far as they are concerned.

In Pittsburgh's last 42 trips to Miller Park, the Pirates are 4-38, including a 1-8 record there last season. It's a stretch of futility that dates back to 2007 -- four years before Clint Hurdle took over as Pittsburgh's manager -- and covers 14 series, of which the Pirates have won one.

On Friday, Pittsburgh makes its first appearance of the season at the Brewers' home, and Hurdle will send Kevin Correia to the mound. Last season, Correia was dominant on the road, going 11-3 away from PNC Park. Two of those three losses, though, came in Milwaukee.

The Pirates don't have an explanation for their struggles at Miller Park, but they haven't ignored them either.

"We're going to a place where, historically, we have not played well," Hurdle said. "So that'll be a great challenge."

Friday is the first meeting of the season between Pittsburgh and Milwaukee -- clubs that are both looking to make up ground in the National League Central. The Pirates, who beat the first-place Reds on Wednesday before an off-day Thursday, sit at 25-25, three games behind Cincinnati.

Milwaukee will return home Friday following a seven-game road trip, which included a 9:10 CT start in Los Angeles on Thursday night. After setting a franchise record with 55 home wins last season, the Brewers are just 11-13 at Miller Park in 2012.

They'll have a chance to regain that magic in the upcoming weeks, as Friday kicks off a nine-game homestand -- tied for the Crew's longest of the season. The first game, despite being against a team against which Milwaukee has had so much success, won't be easy, considering the Brewers' late departure out of Los Angeles. But manager Ron Roenicke -- who's team is fresh off sweeping the Dodgers in four games -- said that's no excuse.

"When I first saw the schedule, I didn't like it," Roenicke said. "But the Dodgers have to do the same thing. They're going to Denver, and they probably won't get in until 3 a.m. So we'll be OK."

Pirates: Barmes, Cruz expected back
Two players are expected to return to Pittsburgh's lineup on Friday after taking time off for different reasons.

Shortstop Clint Barmes, who is batting .170 this season and is hitless in his last three games, sat out the final two games against the Reds in an effort to fix his problems at the plate. Barmes said he has an idea of what his issue has been, and he hopes a break will reverse his recent fortunes.

"It's the bat path," Barmes said. "[I am] doing different drills to try to get where I need to be. I'm staying positive. I expect good things to happen. I've done this in the past, and it has worked."

Setup man Juan Cruz also is expected to come back after going on the restricted list on Monday so he could handle a personal issue in his native Dominican Republic.

Brewers: Wolf seeks first win since April
After going 2-2 in the first month of the season, Randy Wolf went 0-2 in five starts in May. The Brewers went 1-4 in those games and never scored more than three runs in each loss.

Wolf will take the hill on Friday, looking for his first win since April 30 against San Diego. On the season, Wolf is 2-4 with a 5.73 ERA and has pitched more than six innings only once, when he lasted seven against San Francisco on May 21.

Worth noting
• The Pirates are halfway through a stretch of 12 games against the NL Central. In the first six games, Pittsburgh went 5-1.

• Roenicke has sent a different Brewers lineup onto the field in each of the last 14 games.

• With catcher Jonathan Lucroy out with a broken hand, Milwaukee now has seven players on the disabled list, including three who are out for the season.

• Brewers slugger Ryan Braun sat out Thursday night's series finale against the Dodgers after his right Achilles' tendon flared up on a slide into second in Wednesday night's game. He first hurt the same heel in a similar fashion on May 1. Roenicke said Braun would have been available to pinch-hit if needed.

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