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Tribe Seeks Series Victory This Afternoon Against Pirates

(Sports Network) - Recent first-round draft pick Brad Lincoln makes the third start of his big-league career today when the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Cleveland Indians in the finale of a three-game series at PNC Park.

A 25-year-old Texas native, Lincoln was chosen fourth overall in the 2006 draft out of the University of Houston.

He debuted on June 9 at Washington and allowed seven hits and five runs in six innings, getting a no-decision in a game the Pirates lost, 7-5.

He took the loss in start No. 2 six days later after allowing six hits and five runs in six innings of a 6-4 defeat on June 15 against the Chicago White Sox.

The Pirates snapped a 12-game skid on Saturday, when Pedro Alvarez drove in what proved to be the game-winning run on his first career hit -- a ground- rule double -- in a 6-4 victory.

It took Alvarez, Pittsburgh's top prospect called up earlier this week, 14 plate appearances before the two-base hit, helping the Pirates snap their longest losing streak since a 13-game skid in 2006.

Lastings Milledge came a home run shy of the cycle, driving in four runs and scoring once, while Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-2 and scored four times.

Jeff Karstens (2-2) earned the first Pirates win since June 5 after allowing four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Octavio Dotel notched his 13th save of the season.

Russell Branyan hit a three-run homer for the Indians, who have lost four of five. David Huff (2-9) fell to 0-6 on the road this season after yielding five runs, six hits and six walks in just five innings.

For Cleveland, lanky righty Justin Masterson faces the Pirates for the first time in his career.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder lost a 7-6 verdict to the New York Mets in his last start on June 15 at home, following up consecutive defeats of the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox while giving up seven hits and a run in 14 2/3 innings.

He is 1-3 in six road starts in 2010 with a 5.87 ERA in 30 2/3 innings.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.