MLB Arizona Diamondbacks

Game 22 Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves

The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-12) dropped yesterday afternoon’s game 4-3 in Atlanta behind a rare poor road outing from Kevin Correia. The righty lasted just 4.1 innings, throwing 100 pitches and giving up three earned runs.

Brad Lincoln pitched two innings after Correia allowing a solo home run to Martin Prado, before Tony Watson and Evan Meek threw scoreless innings.

Offensively, Alex Presley‘s 0-for-4 day snapped his 12-game hit streak, while Jose Tabata went three-for-five with two RBI and Neil Walker, Garrett Jones and Michael McKenry each had hits.

Most impressively, Pedro Alvarez collected two more hits including his fourth double of the season, raising his average to .200 on the year. He is still striking out at a ridiculous rate (38%) and has just two walks in 58 plate appearances, but he has more home runs (4) than Albert Pujols and Jose Bautista combined with less plate appearances than each of them.

Tonight, the Bucs meet the Braves for the fourth and final game of the series. James McDonald (0-1, 2.78) will face  24-year-old righty Mike Minor (2-1, 3.42).

Here’s the lineup Pittsburgh will roll with:

1. Jose Tabata, RF

2. Josh Harrison, SS

3. Andrew McCutchen CF

4. Casey McGehee, 1B

5. Neil Walker, 2B

6. Yamaico Navarro, LF

7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

8. Rod Barajas, C

9. James McDonald, P

A win today would split the series.

The Pirates currently rank 28th in team batting average (.224), home runs (11) and doubles (32) and have the worst stolen base rate (12/22, 54%) of any team in baseball.

On the flip side, The Pirates have the third-best team ERA (2.77), second-least runs allowed (56) and the second-least home runs allowed (12).

The team’s pitching has clearly kept them in games so far this season. McDonald will need to continue that trend tonight, though some offensive power wouldn’t be unwelcomed.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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