Coming off their triumphant weekend sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates (35-27) return to interleague action this evening when they host the Chicago White Sox at PNC Park.
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Pittsburgh and Chicago will be meeting for the first time since June of 2010, when the White Sox swept the Bucs in a three-game set along the North Shore. The crew of the Jolly Roger are 9-17 all-time against the ChiSox in interleague play.
Bucs first baseman Corey Hart should see more action in the final two games of this homestand as Chicago will start lefthanders tonight and Tuesday against the Bucs. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound veteran batted seventh Sunday while playing first against Philadelphia lefty Cole Hamels. His last start was Saturday, May 16 against Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs.
“We had talked about Corey’s lack of participation,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said on the team’s web site. “[Coach Dave] Jauss and I had been hunting rotations for 2 1/2 months, and this is the first storm we’ve run into where we’re going to get a bunch of left-handers in a row.”
The White Sox are 28-33 and coming off a 2-1 loss Sunday to the Rays in Tampa Bay. Chicago is 4-6 in their last 10 contests and on a three-game losing streak. The Boys with the Pale Hose are in last place in the American League Central. However, they are 4-2 in interleague play so far this season.
Chicago’s lineup is 28th in the Majors in producing 3.62 runs per outing. Their pitching staff has put up a team ERA of 4.14 and a WHIP of 1.37. They are tied with the Seattle Mariners for fourth in the A.L. in turning double plays with 59.
When: Monday, June 15
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Site: PNC Park
Playing Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
Television Coverage: ROOT Sports Network
Radio Coverage: KDKA-FM 93.7 – The Fan
Announcers: Greg Brown, Tim Neverett, Bob Walk, Steve Blass, and John Wehner
Live (Pay) Streaming: MLB.TV
Online Highlights: Pirates Video
Sirius XM Satellite Radio: XM Channel 183, XM Internet 861
All-Star Vote: 2015 Pirates Ballot
Odds: Pirates -1.5 According to OddsShark.com with the Over/Under at seven. Pittsburgh owns the No. 2 defense, permitting 4.03 men per contest to cross home plate in comparison to the White Sox which is the No. 25-rated defense.
Weather Forecast: According to the Weather Channel, Monday’s forecast is calling for thunderstorms likely this evening with a low of 70. The winds will be out of the west/southwest at seven mph. The chance of rain is 80%.
Starting Pitchers: Chicago manager Robin Ventura will hand the ball to Carlos Rodon (2-0, 2.66 ERA/1.55 WHIP) this evening. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound lefthander is the first White Sox rookie to allow one or no earned runs over 6.0-plus innings pitched in at least four consecutive starts since Bruce Howard put up five in a row in 1964-1965.
The Pirates will counter with Francisco Liriano (3-5, 3.25 ERA/1.02 WHIP. The 31-year-old lefty will be making his 13th start of the season. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound veteran is 5-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 15 career starts against the White Sox. He has gone 4-5 with a 4.56 ERA in 10 interleague starts since being acquired by Pittsburgh.
In the second matchup Tuesday, the Boys from the South Side of the Windy City will send 26-year-old Jose Quintana to the mound. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound lefthander has a record of 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP this season. The Pirates will start 31-year-old righthander Charlie Morton (4-0, 2.05 ERA/1.06 WHIP). The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and it will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
Beyond The Scoreboard: Mark Melancon’s 69 saves in his three seasons with the Pirates rank sixth on the team’s all-time list. The 30-year-old righthander is only one behind Jose Mesa’s 70 saves for fifth place…Andrew McCutchen collected his 500th and 501st career RBIs in Saturday’s 4-3 victory over the Phillies…Pittsburgh has yet to have a player hit a grand slam home run this season…The Pirates pack their bags for a five-game road trip beginning with a two-game set Wednesday against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Next they head to our nation’s capital for a three-game series with the Nationals in Washington.