Pittsburgh Pirates (32-27) @ Baltimore Orioles (34-26)
PIT Brad Lincoln (3-1, 2.40 ERA) vs BAL Wei-Yin Chen (5-2, 3.49 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m. | Where: Camden Yards
The Pittsburgh Pirates have won five straight series for the first time since 1992 and look to extend their winning streak to five games tonight in Baltimore as the team begins a six game road trip that ends this weekend in Cleveland.
The Pirates who are a Major League best 12-3 in their last 15 games, have been up and down on the road this season, posting a 13-16 record but the team is 4-2 in their last 6 road games.
Brad Lincoln (3-1, 2.40 ERA) takes the mound tonight vs Wei-Yin Chen (5-2, 3.49 ERA). Lincoln has impressive numbers this season with a 3-1 record and 2.40 ERA but the former first round pick ran into some trouble in his latest outing, getting gassed in a starters role after being in the bullpen for most of the year. In four innings pitched, Lincoln gave up six hits and five runs in the Pirates 5-4 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday. It was Lincoln’s first start since May 14th.
The rookie Chen has been very tough at home, going 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in five starts at Camden Yards. Chen is coming off a strong start in his last outing, giving up seven hits and one run in seven innings pitched in the Orioles 2-1 win over Boston.
Chen might have his hands full with Andrew McCutchen (.325 – 11 HR – 36 RBI) tonight who leads the Majors with a .463 average against lefties and has added 4 home runs and 17 RBIs. According to Stats LLC, since May 1st McCutchen has a .636 on-base percentage and 1.809 OPS against lefties. McCutchens coming off a three RBI game, leads the Pirates in batting average (.325), home runs (11), RBIs (36), Hits (67), Walks (21), Total Bases (116), Stolen Bases (11), Slugging Percentage (.563), OBP (.388), and OPS (.951).
— Despite the Orioles sending a lefty to the mound tonight, Pedro Alvarez is back in the lineup, as is Jose Tabata who will start in right field and bat 7th. Tabata is hitting .196 vs lefties this season.
Alvarez continues to fall in the lineup after the failed experiment in the cleanup spot where he hit .140 in 86 at-bats. Alvarez batting .200 on the season, has hits in three of his last four games. He’ll be in the No. 6 spot tonight where he’s batting .321Â (9-28) with 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s. Against lefties this year, Alvarez is hitting .186.
— The Pirates No. 4 and No. 5 hitters tonight is an intimidating bunch with Casey McGehee in the cleanup spot batting .208 with 1 home run, 8 RBI’s and Matt Hague in the No. 5 spot, hitting .208 with 0 home runs and 5 RBI’s in a small sampling of 53 at-bats. McGehee brought in this off-season to face lefties, is hitting just .190 vs lefties on the year. Sometimes when you look at this group offensively, it’s amazing the Pirates are five games above .500.
Lineup vs Orioles
1. Alex Presley, LF (.234 – 3 HR – 9 RBI)
2. Neil Walker, 2B (.275 – 3 HR – 24 RBI)
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF (.325 – 11 HR – 36 RBI)
4. Casey McGehee, 1B (.203 – 1 HR – 8 RBI)
5. Matt Hague, DH (.208 – 0 HR – 5 RBI)
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B (.200 – 8 HR – 24 RBI)
7. Jose Tabata, RF (.221 – 2 HR – 9 RBI)
8. Rod Barajas, C (.239 – 5 HR – 11 RBI)
9. Clint Barmes, SS (.192 – 3 HR – 14 RBI)