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Pirates Look to Start 7-1 for the First Time in 45 Years

Pirates go for their third straight against the Reds tonight at PNC Park

April 07, 2018 - 5:54 pm

Written by: Noah Hiles

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to continue their early success today against the Cincinnati Reds in the third of a four game series in Pittsburgh at 7:05 p.m. The Pirates have won six of their first seven games of the 2018 season which is the best start the club has had since 1976.

Pittsburgh is coming off a 14-3 win last night where they scored six runs in the sixth inning to take a big lead and never look back. The 14 runs scored by the Pirate offense were the most produced against Cincinnati since May 17th, 2007 when they defeated the Reds 14-10 in the Queen city.

The man on the hill for the Pirates this evening will be Chad Kuhl (1-0). In his first start of the season, Kuhl went 5.2 innings where he allowed four runs on eight hits in an 8-6 win in the second game of their Easter double header against the Detroit Tigers. Kuhl struck out four batters and walked none in the victory. Kuhl is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA in two career starts against the Reds.

Kuhl will be opposed by Reds starter, Sal Romano (0-1) who allowed three runs, including two home runs, in a 6-5 loss to the Washington Nationals in his first start of the season. Romano is only 24 years old and is playing his second season in the big leagues after going 5-8 with a 4.45 earned run average in 2017. Romano is 1-2 lifetime against the Pirates in three career starts.

The Pirates will look to attack Romano with one of the hottest hitting lineups in baseball featuring second basemen, Josh Harrison who leads the National league in hits (11) and runs scored (10), third basemen, Colin Moran who is fifth in the National league with eight runs batted in and centerfielder, Starling Marte, who is tied for the National league lead in triples with two.

The Pirates will unfortunately be without Right fielder Gregory Polanco tonight who was a scratched from the lineup after fouling a foul ball off his lower body late in last night’s contest. Polanco currently leads all of baseball in runs batted in (11), is third in doubles (4) and fourth in walks (8). Taking his place in the field will be super utility man, Adam Frazier. Following the first two games of the season where he batted leadoff as the team’s designated hitter in Detroit, Frazier has yet to crack the starting lineup until today. A player who has made a living at multiple positions on the diamond, Fraizer has only 12 career starts in right field entering today.

Entering today the Pirates sit alone at the top of the National League Central Division and are tied with the New York Mets for the best record in the National League. The only team in baseball with a better record than the Pirates is the Boston Red Sox, who improved to 7-1 today after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 10-3 earlier this afternoon. If the Pirates can defeat the Reds on Saturday, it will be their first 7-1 start since 1973.