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Game Thread: Bucs vs Mariners in weekday matinee

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Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates hope to avoid yet another sweep as they take on the Seattle Mariners in the last of a three-game series at PNC Park this afternoon. Joe Musgrove (10-12, 4.52) gets the ball for the Bucs, while the Mariners will send Yusei Kikuchi (6-10, 5.46) to the mound.

Despite his losing record, Musgrove has proven to be one of the more reliable pitchers on the Pirates’ staff this season. His last outing on September twelfth against the San Francisco Giants was a nice five innings with only four hits, no runs or walks and seven strikeouts. He also helped himself out by hitting a triple in the game, scoring on Adam Frazier’s single and earning the W, 4-2. His evolving command of his pitches and his confidence have been some of the few bright spots for the Bucs this year.

Kikuchi, in his first American major league season after seven successful years in Japan’s Pacific League, didn’t fare as well on Friday against the Chicago White Sox. The Sox took full advantage of his tendency to hang breaking balls and sent him packing after two and one-third innings, in which he gave up ten hits and five runs, including two homers. He can bring the heat--his four-seamer’s been clocked at 98 MPH—but he’s struggled with consistency all season, something that the Pirates should look to capitalize upon today.

AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh will broadcast the game, with the first pitch coming at 12:35 p.m.

MARINERS

1 L Shed Long 2B

2 L Mallex Smith CF

3 L Omar Narvaez C

4 R Austin Nola 3B

5 L Daniel Vogelbach 1B

6 R Tim Lopes RF

7 L Donnie Walton SS

8 R Braden Bishop LF

9 L Yusei Kikuchi LHP

PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman 2B

2 S Bryan Reynolds CF

3 R Jose Osuna 1B

4 L Colin Moran 3B

5 R Elias Diaz C

6 S Cole Tucker SS

7 R Jake Elmore RF

8 R Erik Gonzalez LF

9 R Joe Musgrove RHP