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Game Thread: Bucs and Cubs Open Up at Wrigley

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates head to the Windy City to meet up with their divsion rival Chicago Cubs for the last time this season (one more series between these teams in Pittsburgh), and game one of the three game series will be a matinee at 4:05 pm Eastern. The Cubbies are currently tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the second Wild Card spot, and they’re four games back of division leader St. Louis. Pirates lefty Steven Brault (4-4, 4.13) will throw in the opener, and he’ll get fellow southpaw Jon Lester (12-10, 4.51).

Brault had this same matchup back on August 17th in Pittsburgh, and he threw an absolute gem, dismantling the Cubs over seven strong innings. He allowed two hits and one walk in that outing (one being a solo homer) and struck out a season-high eight batters. Hes’ been largely excellent including that great start, but he had a small blip on the radar last time out. Brault will look to rebound from his six-run outing over 5.1 innings on Saturday against the Cardinals.

Lester fared well in that same contest the last time these two teams met as well, as he threw six shutout innings. However, he did allow four hits and five walks while striking out just three batters. Since then he’s had two quality starts and two terrible starts, all the while walking too many batters. The Bucs will look to capitalize with runners on base against the veteran Lester in this one to make it two losses in a row and spoil some Wild Card hopes.

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Neman SS

2 S Bryan Reynolds CF

3 S Melky Cabrera RF

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 R Jose Osuna 3B

6 R Pablo Reyes LF

7 L Adam Frazier 2B

8 R Elias Diaz C

9 L Steven Brault LHP

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CUBS

1 L Anthony Rizzo 1B

2 R Nick Castellanos RF

3 R Kris Bryant 3B

4 R Willson Contreras C

5 L Kyle Schwarber LF

6 R Nico Hoerner SS

7 R David Bote 2B

8 R Albert Almora Jr.

9 L Jon Lester LHP