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Game thread: Weather permitting, Pirates look for fifth straight win

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With an ominous forecast, the Pirates hope to take their second straight game from the Giants, starting at 7:05PM. It wouldn’t be a good time for the weather to start interfering with things. Apart from their own winning streak, the Pirates are facing an injury-riddled team that’s lost five straight, three of them by eight runs or more. And the Giants have struggling pitchers slated to start the next two games.

Tonight the Pirates will face Jeff Samardzija. After missing the early part of the season with a pectoral strain, he’s mostly had a rough time through four starts due to control problems. In 17.2 IP, Samardzija has walked 13 and struck out 15. He’s got a 6.62 ERA and 6.07 xFIP. One caveat, though, is that he’s always been very tough on the Pirates. In 25 career games, he’s held them to a .637 OPS, one of his best marks against any opponent. He was even better against them in two games last year. Samardzija isn’t entirely the same pitcher he was a couple years ago, though, having lost over two mph on his fastball.

The Pirates will send out Chad Kuhl. He’ll be trying to follow up on his career-best game, a one-hit, seven-inning shutout effort against the Brewers.

Giants

  1. Gregor Blanco, LF
  2. Andrew McCutchen, RF
  3. Buster Posey, C
  4. Brandon Belt, 1B
  5. Evan Longoria, 3B
  6. Brandon Crawford, SS
  7. Alen Hanson, 2B
  8. Austin Jackson, CF
  9. Jeff Samardzija, P

Pirates

  1. Adam Frazier, 2B
  2. Gregory Polanco, RF
  3. Starling Marte, CF
  4. Josh Bell, 1B
  5. Corey Dickerson, LF
  6. Francisco Cervelli, C
  7. Colin Moran, 3B
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Chad Kuhl, P