National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, June 22 (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (36-38) at Chicago Cubs (31-41), 2:20 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Brandon Cumpton (2-2, 5.82) Chicago - Jason Hammel (6-4, 3.02)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie right-hander Brandon Cumpton goes for a second straight win against the Chicago Cubs -- and a third straight overall -- when the Pittsburgh Pirates visit Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon to close out a three-game weekend series.
The Pirates will try to win the series without the services of starting outfielder Starling Marte, who left the team after Friday's loss to tend to a personal matter in the Dominican Republic. He'd hit safely in 10 straight games before going 0-for-4 in the series opener.
Josh Harrison took Marte's No. 2 spot in the batting order on Saturday and drove in three runs.
Jose Tabata is expected to start again in Marte's place in left field.
Cumpton defeated the Cubs, 4-2, on June 11 after allowing two runs in five innings. He got a no-decision against Cincinnati in his most recent start on Tuesday, allowing three runs in six innings of a game the Pirates lost, 6-5.
He faces veteran righty Jason Hammel, who's struggled to a 6.55 earned run average in his last two starts while allowing 23 baserunners. In his first 12 starts of 2014, Hammel averaged fewer than one baserunner per innings.
He was on the short end of the June 11 game against Cumpton after surrendering four runs in five innings. In four previous games against Pittsburgh -- including two in 2014 -- he'd gone 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA.
"I thought I did a pretty good job for as many baserunners as I had," Hammel said. "It was definitely a battle. It was a grind. You've just got to keep pitching, keep throwing strikes."
On Saturday, Harrison hit a two-run homer to help lead the Pirates to a 5-3 win.
Jordy Mercer connected on a solo shot and scored two runs while Andrew McCutchen collected an RBI for the Pirates.
In his second start of the season, Vance Worley (1-0) tossed an effective 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts to pick up his first win in over a year.
Travis Wood (7-6) surrendered three runs on four hits and three walks while fanning four in just 4 2/3 innings to absorb the loss. Anthony Rizzo crushed a two-run home run for the Cubs.
06/22 10:25:18 ET