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Pirates Look to Stay Hot Against Nationals

Bucs go for third straight win tonight against struggling Nats

July 10, 2018 - 6:12 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Coming off of back to back wins, the Pirates will look to keep their success rolling as they take on Washington tonight at 7:05 at PNC Park. Last night, the Pirates (42-48) jumped out early and did not look back, scoring six runs in the first two innings in their 6-3 win over the Nationals (45-45). The Bucs enter today in fourth place of the National League Central division where they trail the first place Milwaukee Brewers by 11.5 games.

On the mound for Pittsburgh this evening will be right hander, Joe Musgrove. Musgrove has a record of 3-3 and a 3.79 earned run average in seven starts this season. In his last outing, Musgrove earned his third win of the season in the Pirates 6-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on June 29 after he pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and striking out five. Musgrove has just one career pitching appearance against the Nationals which was a scoreless inning of relief that he threw last season as a Houston Astro on August 23.

Opposing Musgrove will be veteran right hander, Jeremy Hellickson. In 11 starts this season, Hellickson has a 2-1 record and a 3.81 ERA. In his last outing, Hellickson was roughed up, allowing eight runs on nine hits in just four innings of work, earning the no decision in the Nationals 14-12 win over the Miami Marlins. Hellickson has a 3-1 record and a 2.38 ERA in six career starts against the Pirates.

Once again the first three hitters in the Pirates lineup will be their three outfielders, Corey Dickerson leading off in left field, Starling Martie batting second in centerfield and Gregory Polanco batting third and playing in right field. The three combined for five hits, five runs and five runs batted in the Bucs win last evening. This season Pirates outfielders have combined to produce the second-highest batting average (.280) and OPS (.810) in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (.286 and .823).

Following their game tonight against the Nationals the Pirates will play Washington once more and then take on the Brewers five times in four days before wrapping up the first half of the season and heading into the all-star break.