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Game Thread: Pirates try for split with Brew Crew

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at San Diego Padres
Jordan Lyles
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Lyles (5-2, 3.09) takes the mound at 1:35 p.m. Eastern at PNC Park in Pittsburgh as the Pirates try to salvage a split in their four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, who will pitch right-hander Zach Davies (5-0, 2.19)

The undefeated Davies this year has been the ace of the Brewers staff, despite averaging just 6.1 strikeouts per nine innings. Last year he had a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts, missing most of the second half with rotator cuff inflammation. Starting this year, he had a 4.05 career ERA in the major leagues in 80 starts over four seasons.

Davies is a soft-tosser, averaging only 88.2 mph on his fastball this year, and which has always averaged less than 90 in his career. He throws that two-seamer 57% of the time, mixing in a change and curve.

Davis has had even platoon splits this year, with a 672 OPS vs right-handed batters and 721 vs lefties, although he hs only walked 7 of 134 right-handed batters he’s faced.

Lyles had a sterling 1.97 ERA through his first eight starts before being rocked for six runs by the Rockies on May 23. He appeared ack on track in his last start on May 28 in Cincinnati, but left the game after only four innings with discomfort in his hamstring, and having allowed a double and two-run homer in that final inning.

So far this year Lyles has been very tough on right-handed batters, allowing only a .535 OPS on a 169/238/297 batting line, while left-handers put up a more robust 760 OPS (268/333/427) - but the Brewers will only have three lefties in their lineup.

Lorenzo Cain takes a day off in center field for the Brewers, replaced by Ben Gamel. Mike Moustakas, who left yesterday’s game after being struck on the hand with a pitch, will have Hernan Perez start in his place at third base.

For the Pirates, Kevin Newman continues in the leadoff spot as shortstop and Bryan Reynolds returns to the lineup, batting second, with Gregory Polanco sitting out. Jacob Stallings gets a spot start at catcher.

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BREWERS

1 L Ben Gamel CF

2 L Christian Yelich RF

3 R Ryan Braun LF

4 R Keston Hirua 2B

5 L Eric Thames 1B

5 R Hernan Perez

7 R Orlando Arcia SS

8 R Manny Pina C

9 R Zach Davies RHP

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman SS

2 S Bryan Reynolds LF

3 R Starling Marte CF

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 S Melky Cabrera RF

6 L Colin Moran 3B

7 R Jacob Stalling C

8 L Adam Frazier 2B

9 R Jordan Lyles RHP