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Game Thread: Archer on the hill in Milwaukee

The Pittsburgh Pirates send right-hander Chris Archer (3-6, 5.56) to the hill in Milwaukee for a 8:10 p.m. Eastern start against the Brewers, who will be throwing right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-6, 5.88)

Chacin’s 5.88 ERA is easily the worst in the Brewers’ rotation this year, following year of 3.89 and 3.50. He’s failed to finish the fifth inning in any of his last three starts and has allowed a 8.59 ERA and 1.038 OPS over his last five, covering 22 innings. On the year, Chacin’s walks per nine are up a full point to 4.4 and his home runs per nine is doubled to 1.9. He’s shown a reverse split this year, with right-handed batters hitting for a 857 OPS (281/360/497) while lefties have combined for a 786 OPS (243/346/439), mostly on the strength of a .233 BABIP by the lefties, who have walked (17) more than they’ve struck out (14).

The Pirates’ starting lineup will have six batters fro the left side to face Chacin.

Archer has allowed at least one home run in ten consecutive starts, including five by Atlanta three starts ago. Over that period he has a 6.79 ERA and .926 OPS allowed in 51 23 innings. He’s been equally hard from both sides of the plate, with a 842 OPS vs right-handers on a 271/356/486 line, and 841 (232/329/512) by left-handers.

The Brewers trot out an unusual line. Catcher Yasmani Grandal’s .377 on-base percentage sees him taking over the leadoff spot, while it’s former occupant, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, with his .310 OBP and .660 OPS, is demoted down...to the cleanup spot.

Second baseman Keston Hiura returns for the first game of his second stint with the Brewers, replacing the struggling Travis Shaw as Mike Moustakas moves back to his more familiar spot at third. Since being optioned back to Triple-A on June 3, Hiura hit 321/406/655 with eight home runs in 20 games, giving him a season total of 19 long balls in the minors and five with the Brewers.

And, their pitcher bats eighth.

Milwaukee has lost seven of their last ten and find themselves in second place, a game behind the Cubs, and with a negative run differential for the season at -6.

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman SS

2 S Bryan Reynolds RF

3 R Starling Marte CF

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 L Colin Moran 3B

6 L Corey Dickerson LF

7 L Adam Frazier 2B

8 R Jacob Stallings C

9 R Chris Archer RHP

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BREWERS

1 S Yasmani Grandal C

2 L Christian Yelich RF

3 L Mike Moustakas 3B

4 R Lorenzo Cain CF

5 L Eric Thames 1B

6 R Keston Hiura 2B

7 L Ben Gamel LF

8 R Jhoulys Chacin RHP

13 R Tyler Saladino SS