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Pirates continue to struggle away from home

Pirates continue to struggle away from home

MILWAUKEE -- After being swept in Houston, the road woes have continued this week for the Pirates, who have lost 21 of their last 23 away from PNC Park.

For manager John Russell, the trend is hard to figure out.

"It's tough. I've never really seen much like it," Russell said. "We can't win on the road. I think it's got to become a mentality at some point for these guys that they need to rise to the occasion on the road more."

One thing Russell pointed out was a struggle in two key areas of the game: getting good pitching and scoring runs on the road.

Aside from that, Russell sees more mistakes away from home as well.

"I think on the road, we've found ways to kind of beat ourselves more than we do at home," Russell said. "Especially the road trip when we lost a couple games in Detroit, if we make a couple plays we win. The same way in Oakland.

"Things that we need to do better as a team we don't do. Part of that is youth, part of it is not making the play."

Over the last 23 road games, the Pirates' only wins have come in Chicago, when they took two of three from the Cubs from June 28-30. The club also took two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley Field in May.

Along with the two road series victories in Chicago, the Pirates have won just one other road series this season, April 19-21 in Milwaukee. The series victory snapped a 22-game losing skid for the Pirates at Miller Park.

Outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Milledge have both enjoyed plenty of success against the Brewers in their careers.

Entering Friday's game, McCutchen had hit safely in 15 of his 17 career games against Milwaukee, going 26-for-75 (.347) with seven doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs. At Miller Park, McCutchen's average was even better as he owned a 12-for-31 (.387) mark.

Milledge had been even better in Milwaukee, going 20-for-45 (.444) in his last 11 games at Miller Park after going hitless in six at-bats in his first game in Milwaukee.

With that in mind, the Pirates will be looking to add a fourth road series win this weekend.

"We do it in Chicago, we play well there," Russell said. "So we talked about that. We talked to the players a little bit about that, of the intensity and focus we have when we play in Chicago and trying to get that same focus."

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