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Pirates Preview: Battle of the Keystone State Starts Thursday



Jared Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-3) had a day off on Wednesday after a heartbreaking loss against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The Pirates had a two-run lead heading into the ninth inning, but David Bednar blew the save and Pittsburgh fell 5-3. Martín Pérez allowed one run across eight innings in the start for the Pirates and Edward Olivares slugged a pair of home runs.

The Pirates will look to put the loss behind them with rookie Jared Jones on the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies (6-6) at Citizens Bank Park.

First pitch on Thursday is set for 6:40 ET and the game will be televised on SportsNet Pittsburgh+.


Rain is expected throughout the day with a first-pitch temperature of 64 degrees. Winds south at 20 mph.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Jared Jones (1-1, 3.86 ERA)

Jones has been impressive through his first two starts, totaling 43 swings and misses. The right-hander has struck out 17 batters in 11.2 innings pitched.

The rookie was the Pirates’ starter for their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. In that game, Jones allowed two runs in six innings pitched and struck out seven.

Jones is tied with the San Francisco Giants’ Kyle Harrison with 17 strikeouts to lead rookie pitchers.

This will be his first time facing the Phillies.

The Philadelphia Phillies Will Send Out LHP Ranger Suárez (1-0, 4.09 ERA)

Suárez has pitched well through his first two outings to begin the year. He picked up his first win against the Washington Nationals in his last start on Saturday after allowing two runs in six innings.

Through 11 innings pitched, the left-hander has only issued one free pass and struck out 11. Opponents have managed a miniscule .179 batting average against him and a .578 OPS.

The 28-year-old has pitched extremely well in his career against the Pirates. In six appearances/three starts, Suárez is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA.

Phillies Hitters vs. Jones

  • N/A

Pirates Hitters vs. Suárez

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 2 for 9, one RBI, one walk
  • Bryan Reynolds: 2 for 8, three strikeouts
  • Connor Joe: 4 for 6, one double, two RBIs
  • Andrew McCutchen: 3 for 5, two doubles, one RBI, one walk, two strikeouts
  • Rowdy Tellez: 2 for 4, one double, one RBI
  • Henry Davis: 1 for 3, two RBIs
  • Jack Suwinski: 1 for 3, one triple, one RBI


  • David Bednar has already blown three saves in four chances this season. He blew three saves in 42 opportunities last year.
  • Edward Olivares recorded the third two-homer game of his career and his first since Sept. 4 against the Chicago White Sox.
  • Pirates’ starting pitchers have delivered six-consecutive quality starts. No pitcher has allowed more than two runs during that span.


Ben Cherington’s Belief in Edward Olivares Paying Off

Pirates Prospect Watch: Lonnie White Jr. Continues to Rake

Perrotto: Rowdy Tellez’s Heart Definitely in Right Place, But …

How Concerned Should Pirates be About David Bednar’s Early Struggles?

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