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Guerra, Williams square off at Miller Park

MLB.com

Both Junior Guerra and Trevor Williams will look to get off to better starts on Wednesday, when the Brewers and Pirates meet in the third game of a four-game set at Miller Park.

In Guerra's last outing, he allowed four Padres runs (three earned) in the first inning courtesy of two home runs. After that, the right-hander threw five hitless innings, which allowed the Brewers to come back and beat San Diego.

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Both Junior Guerra and Trevor Williams will look to get off to better starts on Wednesday, when the Brewers and Pirates meet in the third game of a four-game set at Miller Park.

In Guerra's last outing, he allowed four Padres runs (three earned) in the first inning courtesy of two home runs. After that, the right-hander threw five hitless innings, which allowed the Brewers to come back and beat San Diego.

View Full Game Coverage

Williams, who will be making his first career start against the Brewers on Wednesday, surrendered three runs on two hits, a walk and a wild pitch in the first inning against the Cubs on Friday. After that, he tossed four scoreless frames and allowed only two hits.

The Pirates hope to have starting catcher Francisco Cervelli back in the lineup, while the Brewers continue riding the hot hand of Manny Pina behind the plate. Cervelli was a late scratch Tuesday with the flu, which was tough news for the Pirates. considering he was 7-for-21 with a pair of doubles and a home run in his last six games against Milwaukee. Brewers catcher Pina, meanwhile, remained in the lineup thanks to a recent hot streak that could affect the balance of his platoon with slumping Jett Bandy.

Pina has regularly been catching Guerra, and it's expected that pairing will continue Wednesday.

"I looked at their plate appearances [Tuesday] and it was 152 to 150," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of his platoon behind the plate. "I don't think we can get any closer. They've split time, and look, during the course of the year there might be a time when one guy is playing better, but I anticipate them to be splitting time. If a guy is swinging the bat really well, which Manny is [doing], you keep him in there."

Counsell traces Bandy's troubles to the Brewers June 5-8 series against the Giants, when Bandy was denied a handful of hits on highlight-reel plays by San Francisco third baseman Eduardo Nunez and shortstop Brandon Crawford.

Three things to know about this game

• Among starting pitchers who have gotten at least 75 batted balls this season, Guerra ranks in the top 10 for both highest popup rate (12.6 percent) and lowest line-drive rate (19.0 percent).

• Travis Shaw accounted for the Brewers' only run in their 8-1 loss to the Pirates on Monday with a second-inning homer off a changeup from Gerrit Cole. Shaw's homer was barreled with a 101.4 mph exit velocity and 23-degree launch angle, giving him four barrels off changeups this season to tie Eric Thames for the Brewers' team lead.

• Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has found continued success at the plate since moving to the six-spot in the batting order on May 26. Entering Tuesday's game against the Brewers, he held the National League's second highest batting average (.378) in that span behind the Nationals' Daniel Murphy. He has extended his Miller Park hitting streak to 10 games with multi-hit efforts in each of the first two games of the series. McCutchen has homered in each of the first two games, giving him 30 in his career against the Brewers. That is tied for the most against Milwaukee since 2009 with the Mets' Jay Bruce.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.