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Game Thread: Pirates dive headlong into pennant race as Cubs come to town

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MLB: New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Basking in the glow of their bold trade deadline acquisitions of reliever Keone Kela from Texas and starting pitcher Chris Archer from Tampa, the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight open a two game series at home against one of the two teams ahead of them in the standings, the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates send right-hander Jameson Taillon (7-8, 3.73) to the mound, to be opposed by veteran left-hander Jon Lester (12-3, 3.06)

In three previous starts against the Pirates this year, Lester has allowed four, four and zero runs, with the Cubs victors in all three games. This will be Taillon first appearance against the Cubs after previous 21 starts this year.

The Pirates are currently 7.0 games behind the first place Cubs and 6.0 behind second place Milwaukee.

Christopher Bostick has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to at least briefly take the roster spot of the traded Austin Meadows as the fifth outfielder. The team may run a man short in the bullpen as they await Kela’s arrival.

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CUBS

1 L Anthony Rizzo 1B

2 S Ben Zobrist 2B

3 L Jason Heyward RF

4 R Javy Baez 3B

5 R Albert Almora CF

6 S Ian Happ LF

7 R Willson Contreras C

8 L Jon Lester LHP

9 R Addison Russell SS

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PIRATES

1 R Jordan Luplow LF

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 L Gregory Polanco RF

4 R David Freese 3B

5 R Francisco Cervelli C

6 R Josh Harrison 2B

7 R Jose Osuna 1B

8 R Jordy Mercer SS

9 R Jameson Taillon RHP