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Game Thread: Pirates head to St. Louis in hopes of getting back on track

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates will enter Busch Stadium Monday hoping to snap their three-game post-All Star Break skid by dismantling the NL Central rival St. Louis Cardinals in the series opener at 8:15 pm Eastern. The Bucs will send right-hander Joe Musgrove (6-7, 4.15) to the mound to face the Red Birds’ righty Miles Mikolas (5-9, 4.53).

Musgrove pitched well through a rain delay in his last outing on the Sunday before the break, but he was stuck with a tough-luck no-decision after letting up a two-run blast to Brewers’ Jesus Aguilar with no outs in the seventh inning. That homer and a solo shot by Aguilar in the fifth inning of the same game have been the only runs allowed by Musgrove in his last 15 innings pitched.

Meanwhile, Mikolas has trended the opposite direction, letting up eight earned runs over 15 innings in his previous three starts. Even still, the ground ball specialist had the Pirates number in their last matchup, as he allowed just two runs on three hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts over seven strong innings in St. Louis. The Buccos will look to jump on him early this time around and give their hurler a lead to work with.

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PIRATES

1 L Adam Frazier 2B

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 R Kevin Newman SS

8 R Jacob Stallings C

9 R Joe Musgrove RHP

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Cardinals

1 L Matt Carpenter 3B

2 R Paul DeJong SS

3 R Paul Goldschmidt 1B

4 R Tyler O’Neil LF

5 S Dexter Fowler RF

6 L Kolten Wong 2B

7 S Matt Wieters C

8 R Harrison Bader CF

9 R Miles Mikolas RHP