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Game Thread: Kingham leads the streaking Pirates against the Brew Crew

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates, winners of four of their last five games, sends rookie Nick Kingham (3-4, 4.26) to the mound for his third straight start as the Brewers counter with right-hander Junior Guerra (6-5, 2.79)

Guerra is having a fine bounce back after an injury plagued 2017 that saw him post a 5.12 ERA in only 70 innings. He started once earlier this year against the Pirates, on May 4 in Milwaukee, in what was his worst start of the season as he allowed five runs in five innings on six hits, four walks and a pair of homers. The start after that he allowed four more runs in five innings, but in his eleven starts since ha a 2.63 ERA with a fine 225/297/372 batting line allowed. Guerra’s fastball has averaged 92.9 mph this year, and he uses a splitter as his primary off-speed pitch, followed by an occasional slider and curve.

On his fourth stint with the Pirates this year, Kingham was hit hard by the Dodgers in his first game back up on July 2, but followed that with a win over the Phillies which saw him allow only one run in six innings.

The Brewers will start Jonathan Villar at second base and Jacob Nottingham at catcher, but otherwise their lineup remains the same as last night when they lost to the Pirates 6-3. They only send up four left-handed bats against Kingham, who’s allowed a 837 OPS (259/319/518) to lefties compared to 607 (205/255/352) by righties this year.

Against a right-handed starter, the left-handed bats Dickerson, Polanco and Moran return to the Pirates lineup, with Dickerson leading off and Cervelli hitting cleanup.

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BREWERS

1 L Eric Thames RF

2 R Lorenzo Cain CF

3 L Christian Yelich LF

4 R Jesus Aguilar 1B

5 L Travis Shaw 3B

6 S Jonathan Villar 2B

7 R Tyler Saladino SS

8 R Jacob Nottingham C

9 R Junior Guerra RHP

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PIRATES

1 L Corey Dickerson LF

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 L Gregory Polanco RF

4 R Francisco Cervelli C

5 L Colin Moran 3B

6 S Josh Bell 1B

7 R Josh Harrison 2B

8 R Jordy Mercer SS

9 R Nick Kingham RHP