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Pirates Look to Earn Split Against Chicago

After a big win on Saturday, the Bucs will hope to stay hot.

August 19, 2018 - 12:12 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – After ending their season long five game losing steak with a 3-1 win over Chicago last night, the Pirates will look to get back over .500 today as they conclude their four game series. On Saturday, Pittsburgh (62-62) jumped on the Cubs (71-51) early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning and would not look back, after getting a quality start from Joe Musgrove, who allowed just one earned run in seven innings of work. The Pirates enter Sunday in fourth place of the National League Central division and are  6.0 games back from the second National League wild card spot.

On the mound this afternoon for the Bucs will be right hander, Jameson Taillon. In 24 starts this season, Taillon has gone 9-9 with a 3.66 ERA. Taillon enters Sunday leading the National League with two complete games, with his most recent one coming earlier this month against the Colorado Rockies. In his last time out, Taillon was the hard luck loser, as the Bucs fell 5-2 against the Minnesota Twins on August 14 after he went 6.0 innings allowing three earned runs off of seven hits and a walk while striking out four. Taillon has started six times in his career against the Cubs, where he has gone 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA.

Opposing Taillon will be veteran left hander, Jose Quintana. In 23 starts this season, Quintana has gone 10-9 with a 4.46 ERA. Quintana has struggled in day games this season, posting a 5.56 ERA in 13 starts. In his last time out Quintana struggled, allowing five runs off of six hits in 5.0 innings in the Cubs 7-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on August 14. Quintana has three career starts against the Pirates where he has gone 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

Back in the lineup for the Bucs this afternoon will be David Freese, who is hitting fourth and playing third base. Since July 3, Freese has been red hot, hitting .351 with four doubles, a triple, five homeruns and 21 RBI. Freese has been even better in the recent past, going 9-25 (.360) in his last eight games.

Following today’s contest, the Pirates will begin a three game series against the NL East leading Atlanta Braves. The Braves are the only National league team that the Pirates have yet to face in 2018. However, starting tomorrow, six of the Bucs next 12 games will be against Atlanta.