Cleveland Indians (38-30) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (25-44) - Sunday, June 20, 2021 @ 1:35 p.m.
Stadium: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pa.
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 93.7 The Fan
SB Nation Indians site: www.coveringthecorner.com
Indians: Sam Hentges - LHP - (1-1) – 7.57 ERA - 33 total Ks
Pirates: JT Brubaker - RHP - (4-5) – 3.83 ERA – 63 total Ks
Probable Starting Lineups (subject to last-minute changes)
1. Cesar Hernandez – 2B
2. Amed Rosario – SS
3. Bobby Bradley – 1B
4. Eddie Rosario – LF
5. Harold Ramirez – CF
6. Josh Naylor – RF
7. Ryan Lavarnway – C
8. Ernie Clement – 3B
9. Sam Hentges – P
1. Adam Frazier – 2B
2. Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B
3. Bryan Reynolds – CF
4. Jacob Stallings – C
5. Phillip Evans – RF
6. Ben Gamel – LF
7. Kevin Newman – SS
8. Erik Gonzalez – 1B
9. JT Brubaker – P
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to finish off a sweep of their three-game series with the Cleveland Indians today when the two teams meet at 1:05 p.m. at PNC Park.
The Pirates used the long ball to take the second game of the series Saturday, as Michael Perez and red-hot Bryan Reynolds both stroked three-run homers in the seventh inning to fuel a 6-3 win. The Bucs were helped by some inept relief work by the Indians, as all four base runners who scored on the two round-trippers reached by walk.
The Pirates will attempt to make it three in a row today when they face left-hander Sam Hentges (1-1, 7.57) of the Indians. He’ll be opposed by right-hander JT Brubaker (4-5, 3.88).
The 24-year-old Hentges will be making his fifth start of the season for Cleveland and his 11th appearance overall. He has not fared well; in 27 1/3 innings, he has surrendered 43 hits and 23 earned runs, walking 15 and striking out 33. He’s also given up five home runs and has a WHIP of 1.65.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Hentges made four relief appearances to start the season and then made four consecutive starts between May 12 and May 30. During that stretch, Hentges worked a total of 13 2/3 innings and gave up 18 hits, 13 earned runs and 13 walks while striking out 16 for an ERA of 8.56. Opponents batted .321 against him and his OPS-against was .925.
He has worked in relief since then, appearing in three games for a total of 4 2/3 innings. He has continued to scuffle, giving up 11 hits and five earned runs while striking out nine.
His mound opponent brings a 4-5 record and a 3.88 ERA into today’s game. In 12 starts, Brubaker has pitched 65 innings and given up 62 hits and 26 earned runs. He has walked 15 and struck out 63 for a WHIP of 1.19.
Brubaker went five innings in his most recent outing Monday against Washington. He gave up four hits and two earned runs while walking two and striking out one.
With the exception of two consecutive sub-par outings against the Cardinals and Braves on May 18 and May 23, when he gave up a combined 12 earned runs in 11 innings, Brubaker has been plenty solid for the Pirates.
In his first seven starts, he posted an ERA of 2.58, giving up 34 hits and nine walks over 38 1/3 innings while striking out 41. In the three starts that came after the aforementioned May 23 outing against the Braves, Brubaker has pitched 15 2/3 innings and given up 13 hits, five earned runs and three walks for a 2.87 ERA while striking out 12.
NOTES – The Pirates’ Double-A team at Altoona enjoyed a big offensive night Saturday, as the Curve pounded out 16 hits en route to an 8-7 win over the Erie SeaWolves. Rodolfo Castro continued his fine season by going 4 for 5 and Mason Martin added three hits, including his eighth home run of the season, and drove in four runs. Oneil Cruz had three more hits and is up to .308/.936. He also made an outstanding play defensively in the bottom of the eighth inning, diving to his right to make a stop and then throwing out Dylan Rosa at first base.