3 game series vs Pirates @ PNC Park
|4:05 PM PDT
|10:35 AM PDT
The Pirates have been brilliant at home this year. They lead the league with a 35-18 home record and need just one more win to match their win total at PNC Park last season. They've won nine of their last ten series in Pittsburgh and look to continue that success against our Padres.
James McDonald gets the call for Pittsburgh and hopes to open up the series strong while busting out of his slump. Despite being an overall solid starter for the Pirates this season, McDonald is 1-2 over his last five starts, a stretch which saw him give up 25 runs (2 unearned) on 35 hits and 20 walks, pitching to the tune of a 7.76 ERA over that span. His most recent outing, against the Reds, saw him give up four runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings. Against San Diego, he is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA all-time. His last start against our Padres was back in May of 2011, when he gave up two runs in six innings for the win.
Opposing McDonald will be Edinson Volquez, who is coming off an incredibly rough loss to the Mets. He only lasted 1.2 innings and was taken out after giving up four runs on two hits. He also walked four in that start to add to his major-league-worst BB total. Prior to that, he gave up five runs on six hits in five innings against the Reds, but got the win thanks to one of our best offensive showings of the year. Between his last two starts, he has racked up an ERA of 12.15. He is struggled with a blister on his throwing hand in his last start, but is healed now so hopefully he can help lead us to our fifth straight win tonight.
But Volquez will have to find a way to keep Andrew McCutchen off the bases. McCutchen currently leads the majors with a .369 average. He has had a lot of success against Volquez in the past, hitting 4-for-8 with a double, triple, and home run in his career against him. He will try to lead the Pirates to victory against Volquez and end a long losing streak against our Padres at PNC Park.
Despite an awful road record this season, our Friars have been phenomenal at PNC Park in the last few years. The Pirates haven't beat us in their home stadium since September of 2009 riding a string of nine losses to our Padres in Pittburgh. We've outscored them 72-25 in that span. Hopefully we can continue that success this series and go for back-to-back sweeps.