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Pirates Preview: Jared Jones and Bucs Welcome Cubs to Town

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Jared Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a day off on Thursday after falling 5-4 to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday afternoon, dropping the three-game series.

Oneil Cruz came through with a clutch two-out double to drive in three runs and give the Pirates (17-21) a lead but the Bucs couldn’t hold on.

The Pirates will look to turn the page for what should be an exciting weekend of baseball on the North Shore as the Chicago Cubs (22-16) come to town.

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

Weather

Temperatures in the upper 50s with a slight chance of showers around first pitch. Winds NNW at 7-8 mph.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Jared Jones (2-3, 2.63 ERA).

Jones had his best outing to date in what has been a magnificent start to his brief career.

On Saturday against the Colorado Rockies, Jones tossed seven-shutout innings and allowed a lone single. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 10.

Jones leads all rookies with 52 strikeouts and a 10:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the latter of which leads all qualified pitchers.

This will be Jones’ first time facing the Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs Will Send Out RHP Javier Assad (3-0, 1.66 ERA)

Assad enters Friday’s game with the fourth-lowest ERA in baseball. Teammate Shota Imanaga leads baseball with a 1.08 ERA.

The right-hander has not allowed more than one run in a start over his last four outings and has not allowed more than two runs in a start all season.

Assad has held opponents to a .201 batting average and a miniscule .543 OPS.

The 26-year-old is 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in three starts against the Pirates in his career.

Cubs Hitters vs. Jones

  • N/A

Pirates Hitters vs. Assad

  • Bryan Reynolds: 1 for 8, one RBI, one walk, one strikeout
  • Jack Suwinski: 3 for 6, one home run, one RBI, one walk, two strikeouts
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 2 for 6, one home run, two RBIs, two strikeouts
  • Connor Joe: 1 for 4, one home run, one RBI

Tidbits

  • Jared Jones became one of five Pirates’ pitchers all-time with an outing of seven-plus shutout innings with one or fewer hits allowed and 10 strikeouts.
  • Jones also joined José DeLeón as the only two pitchers in Pirates’ history with two games of 10 strikeouts within their first seven starts.
  • Since Apr. 22 — a span of 15 games — Oneil Cruz is batting .327 with an .876 OPS, three doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs.

Links

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Pirates Prospect Watch: Keiner Delgado Continues to Crush, Bae Has Huge Game

BREAKING: Pirates to Recall Nick Gonzales

One Clear-Cut Comparison for Paul Skenes

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