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Game Thread: Bucs back in the ‘Burgh to host Cubs

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates are back home at PNC Park on Friday night to start a weekend series against the co-NL Central leading Chicago Cubs, and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm Eastern. The Bucs are coming off their first series win since they took the series 3-1 against Chicago in the first week of July, prior to the All-Star break. The Cubs were just swept by the Phillies in a three-game series, with last night’s contest ending on a walk-off grand slam by Bryce Harper. Right-hander Joe Musgrove (8-11, 4.71) will be on the bump for Pittsburgh, and he’ll face fellow righty Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 3.48).

Musgrove has been a bit of a roller coaster since the All-Star Break, as he’s allowed four or more runs three times in his six starts. With that, he’s also thrown two quality starts, so he hasn’t been all bad. Musgrove is coming off a 5.1 inning start in St. Louis on August 10th in which he was saddled with a loss after allowing three earned runs on six hits and an uncharacteristic three walks. He’ll look to cut down on those baserunners tonight against an improved Cubs lineup.

Hendricks was obliterated in Cincinnati in his last start on August 10th, allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits (three homers) and lasting just 2.2 innings. Before that though, he was absolutely stellar. Hendricks had quality starts in all but one of his five post-All-Star Break starts heading into the Cincy catastrophe, and he allowed zero runs in two of those outings. He’ll be looking to get back on track in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, the complete opposite of his environment in his last appearance at Great American Ball Park.

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Cubs

1 L Jason Heyward CF

2 R Nicholas Castellanos RF

3 R Kris Bryant 3B

4 L Anthony Rizzo 1B

5 R Javier Baez SS

6 L Kyle Schwarber LF

7 R Jonathan Lucroy C

8 R Kyle Hendricks RHP

9 L Tony Kemp 2B

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PIRATES

1 L Adam Frazier 2B

2 S Bryan Reynolds LF

3 R Starling Marte CF

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 L Colin Moran 3B

6 S Melky Cabrera RF

7 R Kevin Newman SS

8 R Jacob Stallings C

9 R Joe Musgrove RHP