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Game Thread: Trevor Williams tries to right the ship

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates will need all the studliness they can get out of righthander Trevor Williams tonight as they try to snap their longest losing streak of the season. Williams (3-0, 1.56) faces Rockies’ 29 year old righty Chad Bettis (2-0, 2.04)

Bettis split his first two season in 2013 and 2014 between the minors Denver before sticking for good in 2015, when he made 20 starts and logged a 4.23 ERA, followed by 32 starts and a 4.79 ERA in 2016 - but then he lost the first third of 2017 to testicular cancer, working his way back with 9 rehab starts and 9 more back with the big club, allowing a 5.05 ERA.

His results have been better in his first 3 starts this year, but he’s still walking 4 batters every 9 innings and only striking out 6. Bettis had a 93 mph fastball a few years back, but last year and this has only averaged 90.1. He throws that four-seamer 50% of the time, followed in roughly equal amounts (between 10%-15%) of slider, change, curve and two-seamer.

After one day in the lineup filling in for the disabled Josh Harrison, against tonight’s right handed starting pitcher Adam Frazier will sit in favor of Sean Rodriguez, who will bat leadoff as he’s playing second base.

The Rockies stack their lineup with five left-handed batters, as Gerardo Parra is lifted to the #2 spot and RYan McMahon and Tony Wolters get starts. The Pirates’ starting pitchers Williams has in his career allowed a 296/348/446 batting line vs left-handed batters, compared to 224/312/366 by right-handers.

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ROCKIES

1 R D.J. LeMahieu 2B

2 L Gerardo Parra LF

3 L Charlie Blackmon CF

4 L Carlos Gonzalez RF

5 R Ian Desmond 1B

6 R Trevor Story SS

7 L Ryan McMahon 3B

8 L Tony Wolters C

9 R Chad Bettis RHP

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PIRATES

1 R Sean Rodriguez 2B

2 L Gregory Polanco RF

3 R Starling Marte CF

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 L Corey Dickerson LF

6 R Francisco Cervelli C

7 L Colin Moran 3B

8 R Jordy Mercer SS

9 R Trevor Williams RHP