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Pirates Look to Earn Split in Final Game Against Padres

Following back to back losses the Pirates will look to Williams to get back in the win column.

May 20, 2018 - 12:09 pm
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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Coming off of back to back losses for the first time since May 2 and 3, the Pirates will look to earn the split in their four game series against San Diego as they take the field at 1:35 this afternoon. Despite losing to the Padres (19-28) on Friday and Saturday, Pittsburgh (26-19) still enters Sunday as one of the hottest teams in baseball having won eight of their last 11 games and sitting just a game and a half behind the Brewers for first place in the National League Central Division.

On the mound for the Pirates today will be righthander, Trevor Williams. In nine starts this season, Williams has a 5-2 record and a 2.72 earned run average which is currently tenth best in the National League. In his last 14 starts at PNC Park, Williams has a 2.45 ERA while allowing two or less runs in all but one of those outings. In his last start, Williams tossed seven shutout innings and struck out six in the Pirates 7-0 win over the White Sox on May 15.

Opposing Williams will be 27 year old righty Jordan Lyles. Lyles has made 15 appearances on the mound this season for the Padres, including two starts, where he has compiled a 2.53 ERA and a 1-1 record. In nine career pitching appearances against Pittsburgh, in which seven were starts, Lyles has struggled going 0-5 with a 7.82 ERA. In his last start, Lyles flirted with history, coming just five outs shy of a perfect game, which was ended by a single by Trevor Story. The single would be the only hit Lyles would allow in his 7.1 innings of shut out work where he struck out ten in the Padres 4-0 win over the Rockies on May 15.

Back in the lineup for the Bucs is second basemen Josh Harrison. Harrison was sent to the disabled list on April 15 after breaking a bone in his hand when he was hit by a pitch in Miami. Prior to his stint on the disabled list, Harrison had been the key to the top of the Pirates batting order, where he was hitting .271 with nine runs scored and five runs batted in his 12 games as the lead off hitter. Harrison will hit first and play at second base this afternoon. Joining Harrison in the lineup after a day of yesterday is right fielder, Gregory Polanco. Polanco enters Sunday leading the team with eight homeruns and has recorded an extra base hit in seven of his last eight games.

Following their game this afternoon, the Pirates will hit the road to Cincinnati to take on the last place Reds in a three game series before returning home to the North Shore to play the Cardinals and Cubs three games each in a six game homestand to wrap up the second month of the season.