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Game Thread: Pirates ride the wave into St. Louis

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MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Escaping rain soaked western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Pirates head west to begin a three-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Riding a five game winning streak that has brought their record back to .500, they’ll send the studly one, Trevor Williams (12-9, 3.15) to the mound to face one-time great Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.00), who’ll be making only his fifth start of the year.

The 36 year old Wainwright has struggled with injuries the last three years. After winning 19 games in 2013 and 20 in 2014, he was sidelined with a torn left achilles tendon in his fourth start of 2015. Wainwright returned for a full season in 2016, but with a 4.62 ERA. He went down again with right elbow impingement in August of 2017 and battled inflammation there all through 2018. All told, over the last three seasons he’s made 60 starts and compiled a 4.76 ERA in 340 innings. Never a hard thrower, his fastball is down a tick this year to 89.3 mph.

Williams meanwhile has been heading the other direction, posting a 0.66 ERA in his last 9 starts, covering 54 23 innings, making his 3.15 season ERA the ninth best in the National League.

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PIRATES

1 L Adam Frazier RF

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 S Josh Bell 1B

4 R Francisco Cervelli C

5 L Corey Dickerson LF

6 R Josh Harrison 2B

7 L Colin Moran 3B

8 R Jordy Mercer SS

9 R Trevor Williams RHP

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CARDINALS

1 L Matt Carpenter 3B

2 R Jose Martinez RF

3 L Matt Adams 1B

4 R Marcel Ozuna

5 R Paul DeJong SS

6 L Kolten Wong 2B

7 R Harrison Bader CF

8 R Carson Kelly C

9 R Adam Wainwright RHP