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Game Thread: Pirates Look to Split Series Behind Brault

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2019 Little League Classic: Chicago Cubs v. Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates look to split the final game of a four game series on Thursday night at 7:05 pm Eastern against the Washington Nationals. The Bucs’ two losses on Monday and Wednesday were both blowouts, losing by a combined score of 24-1, and their lone win on Tuesday was a late-inning victory by a count of 3-1. Even still, a 1-0 win tonight would have the Nats leaving town wondering how a split series was possible. Veteran Ace Max Scherzer (9-5, 2.41) returns from injury to take the ball for the Nationals while the Pirates will lean on southpaw Steven Brault (3-2, 4.06).

Brault will look to build off a dominant start last time out on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. He went seven strong innings, allowing just one run on a solo homer, two total hits, and just one walk. Squid struck out eight in that outing, and it was obviously the sharpest he’s looked in a while. He’ll have a few more chances in August and September to try and prove he belongs in the Pirates rotation in 2020.

Scherzer hit the IL with a back injury after his start against the Colorado Rockies on July 25th, so this will be his first start in August. He returns to a glistening season stat line, and something tells me he doesn’t want to move that ERA up in PNC Park on Thursday. The last time Mad Max faced the Buccos was in D.C. on April 14th. He went eight full innings but also allowed a mortal three earned runs and was tagged with a no-decision.

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NATIONALS

1 R Trea Turner SS

2 L Adam Eaton RF

3 R Anthony Rendon 3B

4 L Juan Soto LF

5 R Howie Kendrick 1B

6 R Kurt Suzuki C

7 R Brian Dozier 2B

8 R Victor Robles CF

9 R Max Scherzer RHP

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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 Elias Diaz C

9 L Steven Brault LHP