The Pittsburgh Pirates (37-42) have a chance to sweep the San Diego Padres (37-43) after a huge game-two victory Wednesday night.
A Carlos Santana two-run shot in the first inning was all the offense the Pirates could muster against Blake Snell, but it was all the Pirates needed after a brilliant six-inning performance from Mitch Keller, who earned his ninth win.
The Pirates added some insurance runs in the seventh inning when they scored five times and batted around. When the dust settled, the Pirates emerged victorious by a score of 7-1.
Game three between the Pirates and Padres will be at PNC Park, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to the game on 93.7 The Fan
Partly cloudy skies are to be expected throughout the contest, with temperatures ranging from 76-82 degrees. A southwest wind between 2-3 mph is to be expected as well.
The Pirates will send out RHP Luis Ortiz (2-3, 3.74 ERA)
In his last start on June 23 against Miami, Ortiz put forth the best performance of his short major league career. In eight innings pitched, Ortiz allowed seven hits, one earned run, two walks, and struck out five.
Ortiz used all four of his pitches with a sinker (34%), slider (31%), four-seam (23%), and his newfound changeup (12%). The sprinkling of his changeup kept hitters off balance and, as a result, got weak contact (81.9 mph average exit velocity).
Ortiz will have to continue to keep hitters off balance with his changeup if he wants to continue his success, especially if it helps his harder stuff.
Ortiz has yet to face the Padres in his career.
The Padres will send out RHP Joe Musgrove (6-2, 3.88 ERA)
The Pirates will welcome their old friend in Musgrove to PNC Park as he looks to best his former club and avoid the sweep on Thursday.
Musgrove’s has been on a tear in the month of June with a 4-0 record and a 2.10 ERA.
In 30 innings pitched, Musgrove has allowed 26 hits, eight runs (seven earned), six walks, and 24 strikeouts. In addition, Musgrove has allowed just one homer and has gone at least six innings in his five starts in June.
Musgrove offers a six-pitch mix with a four-seam (28.9%), curveball (21.5%), cutter (20.6%), slider (12.3%), changeup (11.4%), and will occasionally toss a sinker (5.4%).
The Pirates will have to sit on his cutter (.273 opponent average) or curveball (.261 opponent average) if they stand a chance. Musgrove’s fastball has been virtually unhittable, with a .203 average and an average EV of 83.5 mph.
Musgrove has faced the Pirates four times (four starts) and holds a 1-2 record with an ERA of 3.43 in 21 innings pitched.
Padres Hitters vs. Ortiz
- No current Padres have faced Ortiz
Pirates Hitters vs. Musgrove
- Bryan Reynolds: 3-6 with a double
- Jack Suwinski: 3-6
- Carlos Santana: 0-5
- The Pirates had 11 plate appearances in the seventh inning on Wednesday against the Padres. This marks the fourth time the Pirates had 10+ plate appearances in 2023. The other dates include April 17, April 19, and May 19.
- Henry Davis has now reached base safely in eight of his first nine games. Davis becomes the sixth Pirates’ rookie to do this since 2012.
- In addition, Davis has a six-game hitting streak, joining four other Pirates rookies to do this in their first nine career games.
- If the Pirates were to sweep the Padres, it will be their first series sweep since June 2-4, when they swept the St. Louis Cardinals.
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