Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, June 20th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (26-40) at Pittsburgh Pirates (35-31), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Francisco Liriano (1-7, 6.24)
Pittsburgh - Erik Bedard (4-7, 4.36)
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates try to match a season-high with
their fourth straight win this evening when they continue a three-game series
with the Minnesota Twins at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh continued to swing the bats in the opener of this set on Tuesday,
as Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run to power the Pirates
to a 7-2 win.
Josh Harrison crushed a solo home run among his three hits and scored three
times, while Clint Barmes added three hits, including an RBI double for the
Pirates, who have managed to outscore their opponents, 25-9, over the streak.
The 25 runs are significant considering the Pirates are tied with the San
Diego Padres for the fewest runs scored in the majors this season (229). They
also totaled double-digit hits for a third straight game and improved to 16-2
when doing so.
"It's always good to feel it, to do it," manager Clint Hurdle said. "So now,
it's fresh on their minds. They're capable of it. They know the places they've
gone, either mentally or physically, to get better, for us to drive some
balls, and be more offensive-minded. It wasn't just Pedro. Even in Baltimore,
we were able to throw two six-run games up there in losing efforts. We were
able to score nine a couple times there. For me, it still comes down to them
finding a way to relax in the batter's box. If that continues more, we're
gonna get more out of what we think we're capable of."
Kevin Correia (3-6) tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory. He
scattered four hits to go with a walk and two strikeouts. Juan Cruz allowed
two runs in the seventh, but Chris Resop sealed the win with two scoreless
innings of relief.
Denard Span accounted for the only runs of the night with a two-run homer for
the Twins, who have dropped five of their last six games. Trevor Plouffe added
two hits in the loss.
Scott Diamond (5-3) yielded four runs on eight hits with a strikeout and two
walks in defeat.
Hoping that the bats stay alive for the Pirates tonight will be lefty Erik
Bedard, who has looked bad in losing two of his last three starts. Bedard was
roughed up by the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, as he gave up seven runs in
just 3 1/3 innings against his former team to fall to 4-7 on the season, while
raising his ERA to 4.36.
"He wasn't ahead of a lot of hitters early, but then when he did get to two
strikes: foul balls, extended counts, not being able to have a put-away
pitch," Bedard said.
Bedard, though, has been much more successful at PNC Park this year, owning a
2.45 ERA compared to a 6.27 mark on the road.
Bedard has faced the Twins 12 times and is 2-5 with a 4.13 ERA.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with rejuvenated lefty Francisco Liriano,
who has pitched well since returning to the rotation. Liriano was removed as a
starter after opening the year 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA. But, since returning to
the rotation on May 30, he has pitched to a 3.04 ERA, although, he has only
posted a 1-2 mark.
Liriano didn't get a decision on Friday against Milwaukee, as he allowed three
runs and one hit in six innings. He did walk four batters, though, in the 5-3
"Frankie threw the ball really well but just had that one bad inning," manager
Ron Gardenhire said.
Liriano is 1-1 in two starts versus the Pirates with a 3.86 ERA.
Minnesota took two of three from the Pirates the last time these teams met
back in 2009.
06/20 10:23:06 ET
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