National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 7th
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (53-33) at Chicago Cubs (37-48), 2:20 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.12)
Chicago - Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.45)
(Sports Network) - A.J. Burnett comes off the disabled list Sunday to lead the
Pittsburgh Pirates against the Chicago Cubs in the rubber match of a three-
game series at Wrigley Field.
Burnett hasn't pitched since June 8 due to a strained right calf. That start
came at Wrigley Field, when the right-hander came within two outs of a
complete game in a 6-2 victory.
Burnett allowed just four hits, including a two-run homer to Alfonso Soriano
in the ninth inning.
Burnett has mastered the Cubs in his career, going 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 10
starts. That includes a 5-0 mark in six starts at Wrigley Field.
Carlos Villanueva gets the start today for the Cubs Sunday.
The right-hander makes his ninth start and 25th overall appearance of the
season. Villanueva hasn't started since May 14 when he suffered a 9-4 home
loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Most recently, Villanueva tossed 2 2/3 innings of relief in Chicago's 8-7 loss
at Oakland on Tuesday. He is 2-2 with four saves and a 2.98 ERA in 23 games (2
starts) against the Pirates.
On Saturday, Soriano drove in four runs with a pair of homers and the Cubs
shut down the Pirates, 4-1. Soriano's 32nd career game with multiple home runs
backed a solid start from Edwin Jackson and a lights-out bullpen effort
anchored by Kevin Gregg.
Jackson (5-10) allowed just one run on four hits and two walks over 5 2/3
innings for the Cubs, who snapped a two-game skid.
Charlie Morton (1-2) served up both of Soriano's homers and was charged with
four runs on seven hits and three walks over six frames to take the loss, the
third in the last five games for the NL Central-leading Pirates.
Pittsburgh also had a seven-game road winning streak broken.
Pittsburgh leads the season series, 7-4.
07/07 10:43:23 ET
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