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Gamethread: Trevor Williams vs Junior Guerra

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates and Brewers face off in game three of their four game series Wednesday night at 7:40 p.m. Eastern. Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.16) opposes Junior Guerra (1-1, 2.84)

Guerra, who has a 1.50 ERA in three career starts vs the Pirates, was last year’s feel-good story, appearing in his first full season in the majors at age 31, after the White Sox signed him out of Italy in 2014, which had been preceded by two years in the independent American Association.

Guerra doesn’t strike out a lot of batters (7.1/9), walks too many (3.5/9) and gives up his fair share of homers (1.0/9) - but he avoids giving up many hits, allowing only 7.1 per every 9 innings in his career, en route to a 2.92 ERA in 26 starts. Injured at the beginning of the year, Guerra is making only his seventh start of 2017.

Another hope for the Pirates is that Guerra has been losing speed on his fastball, down from 94.1 in limited action in 2015 to 93.1 last year and now 91.9 this year. He throws that fastball 57% of the time, followed by a splitter (19%), curve (12%), slider (6%) and sinker (5%). In his short major league career, Guerra has shown a reverse split, as right-handers have batted 238/308/395 off him, compared to 185/279/315 by left-handers.

The Pirates will start only three left-handed bats, as John Jaso spells Gregory Polanco tonight, playing right field and batting third, while Chris Stewart subs for Francisco Cervelli at catcher. Josh Bell returns to first base after a day out of the starting lineup.

For the Brewers, Eric Thames takes a breather after striking out seven times in nine plate appearances in the first two games of the series. Facing the Pirates’ right-handed starter Williams, the Brewers only have two left-handed batters in their lineup.

PIRATES

1 L Frazier LF

2 R Harrison 2B

3 L Jaso RF

4 R Freese 3B

5 S Bell 1B

6 R McCutchen CF

7 R Mercer SS

8 R Stewart C

9 R Williams RHP

BREWERS

1 L Sogard 2B

2 R Santana RF

3 R Aguilar 1B

4 L Shaw 3B

5 R Perez LF

6 R Pina C

7 R Broxton CF

8 R Arcia SS

9 R Guerra P