Pittsburgh (10-12) at Miami (10-11)
When: Saturday, April 29th 2017
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, FL
Time: 7:10 ET | TV: ROOT Pittsburgh, FSN Florida
The stagnant Pittsburgh Pirates offense broke out in a big way last night against the Florida Marlins and they’ll look to keep that going for the middle game of their weekend series at Marlins Park. The Pirates scored one run fewer in the last two games than they totaled in the previous eight, and that has resulted in two straight wins. Josh Harrison’s return to the leadoff spot provided a spark to the Pittsburgh offense in a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, and the momentum continued with three hits, two RBIs and a run scored in Friday’s series-opening 12-2 route. The Pirates pounded out 18 hits in the win and got a 3-for-3 effort with a triple from rookie infielder Gift Ngoepe, who became the first African-born major-leaguer on Wednesday and made his first start on Friday. The Marlins are trending in the opposite direction with three straight losses and will need some innings on Saturday from starter Dan Straily after Adam Conley was knocked out in the second inning on Friday. The Pirates will go with righty Ivan Nova. Marlins OF Christian Yelich went 4-for-5 on Friday for his sixth multi-hit performance in the last nine games. Pittsburgh rookie 1B Jose Osuna doubled his major-league hit total by going 4-for-5 on Friday.
Pitchers: Pirates – Ivan Nova (2-2, 2.00 ERA) | Marlins – Dan Straily (1-1, 3.92)
Nova has not been getting great run support lately, but received just enough to earn a win over his former team on Sunday, when he allowed one run and four hits in seven innings to beat the New York Yankees 2-1. Nova was on the losing end of a 2-1 final in his previous start, surrendering two runs and five hits over eight innings at St. Louis on April 17th. Nova spent the first 6.5 seasons of his career in the American League and is making his first career start against the Marlins.
Straily was terrific at San Diego last Saturday, striking out a career-high 14 without walking a batter, but did not factor in the decision in a game the Marlins went on to win 6-3 in extra innings. Straily had a no-decision in his previous outing as well despite throwing 5.1 hitless innings against the New York Mets. Straily made six appearances – five starts – against Pittsburgh as a member of the Cincinnati Reds last season and went 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 32 innings.
The Pirates bats have awaken and Straily has a little pressure to give the bullpen a bit of a rest after last night. Miami has just four runs in their past two games and they’re going up against a pitcher that has been solid.
Pick: Pirates +110
HEAD TO HEAD