© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Begin Three Game Series Against Nationals

Bucs look to take advantage of struggling Nats

July 09, 2018 - 6:04 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Coming off of a victory that ended a five game losing streak over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, the Pirates will look to stay in the win column tonight as they begin a three game series against Washington. Both the Pirates (41-48) and the Nationals (45-44) have struggled to find consistency in the past month and each team will look to potentially turn their season around in this series with the all-star break just a week away.

On the mound for the Pirates will be veteran right hander, Ivan Nova. In 16 starts this season, Nova has a record of 4-6 and a 4.48 earned run average. In his last start Nova was the losing pitcher after going 5.0+ innings, allowing seven earned runs off of nine hits in the Bucs 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 3. Nova is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals.

Opposing Nova will be rookie right hander, Jefry Rodriguez. Monday will be just the third start for the 24 year old, who has a 5.52 ERA and 15 strikeouts in the four total games that he has pitched in this season. In 14 starts at the minor league level in 2018, Rodriguez has gone 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA and has struck out 74 batters in 73.0 innings of work. The Nationals are 2-0 in games that Rodriguez has started this season.

Leading off for the Pirates today will be left fielder, Corey Dickerson. Dickerson who leads the team with a .308 batting average and 92 base hits will be making his first appearance at the top of the order this season. In the four games the Pirates have played the Nationals in 2018, Dickerson went 5-16 with two homeruns and five runs batted in and is batting .341 in his career against Washington.

Following their game on Monday, the Bucs will take on the Nats two more times before playing the National League Central leading Milwaukee Brewers five games in four days to wrap up an 11 game homestand that began on July 6.