Lineup: Starling Marte CF, Adam Frazier LF, Cutch DH, Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Sean Rodriguez 2B, Jordy Mercer SS, Stew C (Gerrit Cole, P). Cutch gets to rest his wheels as DH and S-Rod gives J-Hay a break; Josh has hit just .182 in his last 10 games.
|Gerrit looks to keep on strong (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (9-8, 4.00) closes the Tiger set against Drew VerHagen (0-1, 5.00). Cole Train's last start was pretty blah, but he's gone 6-2/2.98 in his last 10 starts so he's been pretty dependable in the past couple of months. He's 6-0 in his last six starts on the road, where he hasn’t lost since May 22nd and has spun it goodly against Motown, slashing 1-1/2.41 ERA in three career starts. He lost a duel to Jordan Zimmermann in 2016 while beating Anibal Sanchez and getting a no-decision against Justin Verlander in 2015. This will be VerHagen's third start in the majors and he looked took a step in his most recent start, going five innings and allowed two runs v. the Orioles. VerHagen is a fastball guy, but leans on a slider and curve while showing an occasional split-finger. He's basically the same stat-wise as he was with AAA Toledo (7-7, 4.90) with a little more control and more issues with the long ball. But it's a little early to have much of a book on him, so we'll see what he's got today. He had three relief outings against the Buccos last season, allowing seven hits and three earned runs in 2-1/3 IP.
- Pittsburgh is 0-6 on the road so far in interleague play v Boston, Baltimore and Detroit.
- The Pirates have started five different players (Cutch, Josh Bell, David Freese, Gregory Polanco and Adam Frazier) this year as DH.
- The Pirates will depart for Toronto following today’s game to begin a three-game series with the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre tomorrow night. It's the first Buc regular-season appearance there since 2011.
- Five players (C Deon Stafford, LHP Ike Schlabach, RHP Adam Oller, 2B Tristan Gray and OF Bligh Madris) from the Low-A West Virginia Black Bears have been named to the New York-Penn League’s mid-season All-Star team.