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Game Thread: Struggling Bucs and Trevor Williams host red hot Cards

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates will welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to PNC Park to start a four-game divisional series on Monday night. Barring even more rain (although it looks like we should be safe) first pitch will be at 7:05 pm Eastern. Righty Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.17) returns from an extended break due to the flu to take on young right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-0, 2.80).

Williams has struggled to get back on track since returning from a side injury on June 19th. In those four starts since his IL stint, he’s let up a lot of hard contact and an uncharacteristic 24 earned runs. The Bucs would love for him to figure things out and duplicate his last outing against the Cards when he threw seven innings of one-run ball to earn a win on May 10th.

Ponce de Leon has been recalled by the Cardinals on three different occasions already this season, and he’s spent time in both starter and relief roles. His last two appearances have both been starts though, one against the Diamondbacks and one against these same Pirates at Busch Stadium last week. The 27-year-old has shown glimpses of good strikeout stuff, but struggled against the Bucs last time out, lasting just 3.2 innings and allowing four earned runs on eight hits and two walks.

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Cardinals

1 S Tommy Edman 3B

2 S Dexter Fowler RF

3 R Paul Goldschmidt 1B

4 R Tyler O’Neil LF

5 R Paul DeJong SS

6 L Kolten Wong 2B

7 R Yairo Munoz CF

8 S Matt Wieters C

9 R Daniel Ponce de Leon RHP

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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 Elias Diaz C

9 R Trevor Williams RHP

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