On Monday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates will face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the desert. The Pirates are coming off a 3-1 series win over the St. Louis Cardinals on the road and the Diamondbacks are coming off a 3-1 series loss to the Atlanta Braves at home. Pittsburgh is 20-17 on the season and Arizona is 22-19.
Pirates Seeking 4th Straight
On Sunday, the Pirates trailed for most of the game in St. Louis but exploded for 7 runs combined in the 7th and 8th inning to win 10-6. Steven Brault started but did not last long, going just 3 2/3 innings allowing 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Josh Bell had the big blast in the 7th inning that was a 3-run shot to tie the game at 6. Bell also had a double and 2 singles and was 4 for 4 on the day with 5 RBI’s. Francisco Cervelli went 3 for 4 with a double. Collin Moran and Adam Frazier each had 2-RBI doubles late in the game to secure the victory. Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco each recorded 2 hits.
Nick Kingham will get the start for Pittsburgh in this one. He is 1-0 with a 5.94 ERA in 9 appearances this season. He has a 1.50 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings. He was used out of the bullpen all season so far until his last outing which was his 1st start of the season. He went 4 innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks and struck out 5. The Pirates players have faced Robbie Ray 40 times in his career and are hitting .250 off him. Gregory Polanco has the most experience and is 2 for 9 with a double. Adam Frazier has gone 3 for 3 with a walk. Starling Marte is 2 for 6 off the left-hander with 2 walks and Josh Bell is 1 for 5 with the lone home run off Ray.
Arizona Finding Ways
The Diamondbacks trailed the entire game on Sunday and just couldn’t find a way to drive in runs despite recording 14 hits. The pitching staff gave up 5 runs on 12 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7. Adam Jones blasted a 2-run home run in the 4th inning to get things rolling and was 3 for 5 on the day with a double. Nick Ahmed had the only other double for the Dbacks and went 2 for 4. Ketel Marte went 3 for 5 and Carson Kelly was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Four other Diamondbacks had singles in this game, but they couldn’t get the big hit all game and left 11 men on base.
Robbie Ray will be on the mound for Arizona and is coming off a dominant performance his last time out. He went 5 2/3 innings allowing no runs on 4 hits and 3 walks and struck out 11 batters. On the season, he is 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 8 starts and has a WHIP of 1.28 and 55 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings. This is just Kingham’s 2nd year in the big leagues so Arizona has compiled only 10 at bats against him and have 3 hits. Wilmer Flores is 1 for 3 with a home run, and David Peralta and Christian Walker are both 1 for 1 with a double off Kingham.
Diamondbacks Win Opener
The Diamondbacks are -180. Although the Diamondbacks struggled in their last series, they still kept every game close and had a chance to win all of them. Pittsburgh looked good against the Cardinals but were fortunate to face them at a good time. Robbie Ray looked like he returned to form in his last outing and will be able to keep that going here against the Pirates. Nick Kingham has struggled so far this year and was average in his 1st start. He will face a tougher opponent here than his last time out and will not make it very long. Take the Diamondbacks -180.