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Game Thread: Bucs host Cards looking to avoid a four-game sweep

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to avoid a five-game losing streak and a 2-11 post all-star break record when they host the St. Louis Cardinals in the final game of the home stand at 12:35 p.m. Eastern at PNC Park. Right-hander Joe Musgrove (7-8, 4.08) will head to the mound to seek revenge against the man who blanked the Bucs in this matchup last week, RHP Miles Mikolas (6-10, 4.17).

Outside of a bit of a dud last Monday in St. Louis, Musgrove has been very solid for the past month or so. Including the four-run outing in 4.2 innings against the Red Birds, Big Joe has put together a 2.20 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in his last 32.2 innings pitched (six outings, one shortened by rain), sporting a 10.19 K/9 during that time and walking just six batters. He’ll look to keep a red hot offense at bay, which will include keeping Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong from leaving the yard.

Meanwhile, Mikolas is happy to see the boys in Black and Gold again. Last time he faced the Pirates he tossed a complete game shutout by allowing just eight harmless hits and striking out just three batters. That outing anchors a 2.95 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over the right-hander’s last six starts. Mikolas will surely attack the strike zone against this lineup again, hoping to induce more ground balls and have some quick innings early. The Pirate offense will look to build upon the signs of life they showed by producing eight runs last night, the most since the July 6th.

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CARDINALS

1 S Tommy Edman 3B

2 L Dexter Fowler CF

3 R Jose Martinez RF

4 R Paul Goldschmidt 1B

5 R Paul DeJong SS

6 L Kolten Wong 2B

7 S Matt Wieters C

8 R Yairo Munoz LF

9 P Miles Mikolas 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 Jacob Stallings C

9 R Joe Musgrove RHP

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