© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Look to Get Back in the Win Column Tonight Against San Diego

The Bucs will look toward rookie Nick Kingham to help the rebound from last night's loss.

May 19, 2018 - 6:23 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – The Pirates are set to take on San Diego tonight at 7:05 p.m. in the third game of their four game series at PNC Park. The Bucs (26-18) three game win streak came to an end last night as they fell to the Padres (18-28) 3-2. Despite the loss, the Pirates have still won eight of their last 10 and nine of their last 12. After starting the season 10-20 in the month of April the Padres have played .500 baseball in the month of may (10-10) including winning three of their last five games.

On the mound for the Pirates tonight will be rookie right hander, Nick Kingham. In his two career starts at the major league level, Kingham has a 2-0 record with a 2.92 earned run average and has struck out 16 batters. In his last outing, which took place with class AA Altoona, Kingham was dealt the loss after allowing four earned runs on seven hits in five innings of work. However, in his last major league outing, Kingham went 5.1 innings allowing four earned runs off six hits while striking out seven to get the win over the Brewers on May 4.

Opposing the Pirates on the mound will be 34 year-old lefty Clayton Richard. The former Pirates farm hand has a 2-5 record with a 5.20 earned run average in nine starts this season. In his past two outings, Richard has completed eight innings of work on the mound which he as only done once before in his 11 year big league career. In his last time out, Richard had his best performance of the season, going 8.0 innings allowing two runs off of five hits while striking out a season high 10 batters in the Padres win over the Cardinals on May 13. In 10 career appearances against the Pirates(five starts and five relief appearances), Richard has a 2-2 record with a 2.36 earned run average.

With Richard being a lefty, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has designed tonight’s lineup in hopes of creating some unfavorable matchups for the Friars. Sean Rodriguez will be leading off today for the Pirates and playing in centerfield. This season, Rodriguez has a .409 (9-22) batting average against left handed pitchers. In addition to Rodriguez, the Bucco lineup will Corey Dickerson in left field and Josh Bell at first base, who are hitting .379 and .303 off of lefties this year.

Back in the lineup for the Pirates this evening is catcher Francisco Cervelli who will be batting third for only the second game this season. Cervelli missed yesterday after stubbing his finger on a base in Wednesday’s win over the White Sox. Rookie Austin Meadows will be making his second straight start after being called up to the big leagues on Friday. Meadows went 2-4 with a stolen base in his MLB debut in last nights loss.