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Game Thread: Pirates hope to land on feet as they return home to face Phillies

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a road trip that can charitably described as disastrous, the Pirates took a day off to travel and will tonight face the Phillies, who at 47-37 are a game back of Atlanta in the National League East. Trevor Williams (6-6, 4.22) will face Philadelphia’s right-hander Nick Pivetta (5-7, 4.66)

The 25 year old Pivetta faced the Pirates in Philadelphia on Apr 22, getting a no decision in a game the Phillies won 3-2, as he allowed a pair of runs and struck out seven in 6 13 innings. In his 13 games since (12 starts) he’s put up a 5.64 ERA. While he average 3.5 walks and 11.6 K’s per 9 innings over that stretch, he’d also allowed a .352 BABIP and 12 homers, combining for a 817 OPS allowed. For the season, he’s done much better against right handed batters, allwoign a 674 OPS (232/282/392), compared to a 831 OPS (300/365/467) by left handed batters. Pivetta leans heavily on a 95 mph fastball backed by a slider and curve.

Through Williams’ first nine starts of the year, he posted a 5-2 record with a 2.72 ERA, but in his last eight is 1-4 with a 6.28 ERA, although his peripherals of a 785 OPS (265/315/470) aren’t that bad, expected for the isolated power.

With Pivetta’s pronounced vulnerabilities to left-handed batters, Clint Hurdles’ lineup had Josh Bell leading off for only the second time in his major league career, but otherwise only has four lefties out of nine in the lineup as Austin Meadows as Max Moroff watch the action from the dugout.

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PHILLIES

1 S Cesar Hernandez 2B

2 R Rhys Hoskins LF

3 L Odubel Herrera CF

4 S Carlos Santana 1B

5 L Nick Williams RF

6 R Scott Kingery SS

7 S Andrew Knapp C

8 R Maikel Franco 3B

9 R Nick Pivetta RHP

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PIRATES

1 S Josh Bell 1B

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 L Gregory Polanco RF

4 L Colin Moran 3B

5 R Elias Diaz C

6 L Corey Dickerson LF

7 R Josh Harrison 2B

8 R Jordy Mercer SS

9 R Trevor Williams RHP