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Game Thread: Lyles leads the Bucs home to face the Giants

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Lyles, owner of two solid starts so far in the young season, will take the mound Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Eastern at PNC Park in Pittsburgh as the division leading Pirates take on the visiting San Francisco Giants.

Pittsburgh took four out of five games in their brief road trip to Washington and Detroit and now have a record of 10-6.

Not much was expected of Lyles when he was signed to the fifth starter replacing the traded Ivan Nova, but so far in two starts he’s allowed only a single run, with the Pirates winning both games. In his last start against the Cubs Lyles fanned a career high ten batters in only six innings.

Lyles will be opposed by the Giants’ ace starter Madison Bumgarner, now in his twelfth season in San Francisco. The left-handed Bumgarner’s only made 38 starts over the last two seasons, suffering a shoulder strain in 2017 and broken hand in 2018, but it did not impact his effectiveness, as he posted ERA’s of 3.32 and 3.26. So far this year he has a 3.12 ERA in four starts, walking only 4 while striking out 23 in 26 innings.

Bumgarner’s fastball, which he throws only 45% of the time, comes in at 90.9 mph, mixed with a slider (28%), a curve (14%) and an occasional change.

Adam Frazier is out of the starting lineup, with Pablo Reyes replacing him at second base and J.B. Shuck in left field. The slumping Francisco Cervelli is dropped to the fifth spot in the lineup while the recently showing signs of life Jung-ho Kang is promoted to third against the left-hander Bumgarner.

The Giants will start some familiar names in the middle of their lineup with Panik, Posey, Belt and Crawford, but through 20 games the team is hitting only 205/286/336.

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GIANTS

1 L Steve Duggar RF

2 L Joe Panik 2B

3 R Buster Posey C

4 L Brandon Belt 1B

5 L Brandon Crawford SS

6 R Evan Longoria 3B

7 R Kevin Pillar CF

8 L Gerardo Parra LF

9 R Madison Bumgarner LHP

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PIRATES

1 R Starling Marte CF

2 S Melky Cabrera RF

3 R Jung-ho Kang 3B

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 R Francisco Cervelli C

6 R Pablo Reyes 2B

7 L J.B. Shuck LF

8 R Erik Gonzalez SS

9 R Jordan Lyles RHP