© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs Start Four Game Series Against Arizona

Pirates take on Diamondbacks tonight at 7

June 21, 2018 - 5:52 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Following their game on Wednesday night being canceled due to rain, the Pirates will be back in action at PNC Park on Thursday as they begin a four game series against Arizona. The Diamondbacks (40-33) come into town at the top of the National League West division leading the Los Angeles Dodgers by two games entering today. The Pirates (36-37) currently sit in fourth place of the National League Central division were they are seven games behind the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers who are tied for first place.

On the mound for the Pirates will be right hander, Chad Kuhl. Kuhl, who was scheduled to pitch yesterday prior to the game being postponed, has a 5-4 record and a 3.76 earned run average in his 14 starts this season. In his last outing, Kuhl went six innings allowing two runs, one earned, off of six hits and striking out six to earn the win in the Bucs 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on June 15. Kuhl has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since facing the Padres on May 17 where he allowed four runs on 4.1 innings of work. In his one career start against the Diamondbacks Kuhl went 5.0 innings and received a no decision in a 6-5 Pirates loss that went 14 innings at home back on May 31, 2017.

Opposing Kuhl will be 28 year-old righty, Zach Godley. In 14 starts this season, Godley has a record of 7-5 and an ERA of 4.97. In his last time out, Godley earned the win in a 7-3 Arizona victory over the New York Mets after he allowed two earned runs off five hits while striking out eight in 6.2 innings of work  on June 15. In two career pitching appearances against the Pirates, once as a starter and once in relief, Godley has allowed four earned runs in eight total innings of work.

In the lineup for the Bucs this evening will be centerfielder Starling Marte, who has hit safely in 26 of his 28 career games against the Diamondbacks, where he has hit .339 with 13 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 22 runs batted in. Marte also enters Thursday just one hit shy from 800 and one RBI short of 300 in his professional career. In addition to Marte, another bat the Arizona staff will be challenged to keep quiet belongs to short stop, Jordy Mercer who has hit safely in eight of his last nine games going 10-28 (.357). Mercer has also had a very strong season at the plate in PNC Park this season where he is batting .313 and has reached base safely in 31 of the 33 games that he has played in.

Following their four game set against the Diamondbacks the Bucs will pack up and hit the road to the big apple where they will face the Mets for three games before making a trip out west to play the San Diego Padres and Dodgers three times each.