Francisco Liriano recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts while
scattering four hits over eight dominant innings as Pittsburgh
posted a 4-1 triumph over the Phillies on Thursday. The victory
moved the Pirates within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Cardinals in
the National League Central and helped them maintain their 1
1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot. Chicago
looks to snap its six-game losing streak during which it has been
outscored 48-10 and blanked twice.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, ROOT (Pittsburgh)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Tsuyoshi Wada (4-2, 2.95 ERA) vs. Pirates
RH Gerritt Cole (8-5, 3.89)
Wada lasted only 3 1/3 innings against Pittsburgh last Friday due to
a leg cramp, escaping with a no-decision after allowing three runs -
two earned - and three hits. The 33-year-old native of Japan has
yielded a total of seven runs in his last two starts after giving up
two or fewer in each of his previous five outings. Wada has posted a
2.70 in three road turns but remains in search of his first victory
away from home.
Cole improved to 4-0 lifetime against the Cubs after yielding four
runs - three earned - and nine hits in six innings at Chicago on
Sunday. The 24-year-old helped himself at the plate in the victory,
belting his first career home run - a two-run shot in the seventh
inning that created a 10-2 lead. Cole has posted a 3-1 record and
3.38 ERA in nine home starts this season.
[to top of second column]
1. Pirates LF Starling Marte left Thursday's game in the third
inning with soreness in his left arm after being hit by a pitch in
the previous frame.
2. The Cubs scored only three runs while allowing 28 as they were
swept of a three-game series in Toronto this week.
3. Pittsburgh likely will be without Pedro Alvarez for the remainder
of the regular season as the third baseman has a stress reaction in
his left foot.
PREDICTION: Pirates 6, Cubs 2
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.