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Game Thread: Musgrove makes his first start

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Musgrove, who had his spot in the rotation skipped but made a relief appearance last Sunday, will make his first start of the season, coming against the visiting Cincinnati on a chilly night at PNC Park. The Reds will counter with right-hander Sonny Gray, newly acquired from the Yankees, who the Pirates roughed up for five hits and four walks in 2 23 innings in a 5-0 win last Sunday.

With Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle looking to get Colin Moran’s bat in the lineup, the slow-footed third baseman will get get his first major league experience in the outfield as he’ll be starting in left field, while J.B. Shuck moves over to right field, taking the place of Melky Cabrera.

Musgrove showed pronounced splits in 2018, with a .777 OPS allowed to left-handed batters on a 277/332/446 batting line, while right-handers hit only 233/270/343 (.613 OPS), but Cincinnati have only two lefty swingers in the lineup, Jesse Winker and Joey Votto in the one and two slots, with Scott Schebler headed to the bench in favor of right-hander Matt Kemp.

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REDS

1 L Jesse Winker CF

2 L Joey Votto 1B

3 R Yasiel Puig RF

4 R Eugenio Suarez 3B

5 R Matt Kemp LF

6 R Jose Peraza 2B

7 L Tucker Barnhart C

8 R Jose Iglesias SS

9 R Sonny Gray RHP

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PIRATES

1 L Adam Frazier LF

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 R Francisco Cervelli C

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 R Jung-ho Kang 3B

6 L Colin Moran LF

7 L J.B. Shuck RF

8 R Erik Gonzalez SS

9 R Joe Musgrove RHP