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Brault looks to complete the Rocky Mountain sweep

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Having won each of the first three games of the series, the Pirates, behind left-hander Steven Brault, look to complete the sweep of the Rockies in the game scheduled for 3:10 p.m. Eastern at Coors Field in Denver.

With so many starting pitchers on the disabled list and with the pounding they’ve gotten so far in this series, today the Rockies have recalled from Triple-A, Jeff Hoffman, the starter they will use in today’s game.

Hoffman, a 26 year old right-hander, has spent each of the last four seasons shuttling between Denver and Albuquerque, his most work coming in 2017 when he logged 99 innings in sixteen starts and seven relief appearances. Hoffman was obtained in 2013 in the trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto.

With the Rockies, Hoffman has a 7.81 ERA this year, allowing twelve homers in nine starts. For his major league career, he has a 6.31 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 178 23 innings, with 4.1 walks and 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

Hoffman mixes in a curve, change and slider with a fastball that this year has averaged 93.9 mph. In his career, Hoffman has shown a reverse split, holding left-handed batters to a .796 OPS (264/330/466) while righties pound him to a tue of a .974 OPS (313/395/579), walking 11.0% of the right-handed batters he’s faced.

Despite having a career ERA of 5.01 two months into his fourth season in the majors, Brault was reinserted the rotation On May 29 at Cincinnati, and in his twelve starts since then has been become the Pirates’ most dependable starting pitcher, nine times allowing no more than two runs and compiling an ERA of 2.84 in 62 13 innings over that stretch.

For the season, Brault has been very tough on left-handed batters, allowing only a .600 OPS on a line of 214/267/333, while righties have him him at a better than average rate of a .798 OPS, on 275/371/427.

Since post All-Star Break streak that saw the Pirates lose 30 of 38 games, they’ve been victorious in seven of their last nine, and collected at least fifteen hits in each of the first three games of the current series in Denver.

Shortstop Kevin Newman has led the way on offense with ten hits in fourteen at bats, including a double and three home runs, so today he will take a well deserved break, in favor of Erik Gonzalez.

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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 R Jose Osuna RF

7 R Elias Diaz C

8 R Erik Gonzalez SS

9 L Steven Braunt LHP

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ROCKIES

1 R Trevor Story SS

2 L Charlie Blackmon RF

3 R Nolan Arenado 3B

4 R Ian Desmond LF

5 L Ryan McMahon 1B

6 R Garrett Hampson CF

7 R Pat Valaika 2B

8 L Tony Wolters C

9 R Jeff Hoffman RHP