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4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, May 17, 2018
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 11,404

Pirates, Padres hope rain stays away

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. The San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates have split their season series in three of the past four seasons. The only outlier was 2015, when Pittsburgh won five of seven games.
  2. The Padres won three of their last four games to finish their home stand at 6-6 -- they have yet to win four out of five games this season. The Padres 3.73 runs scored per game in 2018 are the second-fewest in MLB.
  3. The Pirates shut the White Sox out in game one of their recent series. Pittsburgh leads the majors in team shutouts this season with seven. San Diego has been shut out five times this season.
  4. Eric Lauer has had some hiccups in his debut season; he has given up six earned runs in two of his four starts. In his most recent start, the right-hander allowed four home runs, including three in the third inning which forced his early exit from the game.
  5. Christian Villanueva snapped a 10-game hitless streak in game one of the recent two-game series with the Rockies. In game two of the series, he snapped an 11-game homerless streak with his 10th home run of the season. Both of those streaks are career longs.
  6. Josh Bell had a pinch-hit, game-winning RBI in Wednesday's game against the White Sox. On the season, the Pirates have had 12 different player contribute a game-winning RBI, which is tied (Atl, Hou, NYY) for the most players to have at least one such RBI in MLB.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/17/2018 thru 5/20/2018

PITTSBURGH -- The San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates open a four-game series at PNC Park Thursday, and there will be one constant. Rain. A lot of it. And throughout the four days.

Since this is the Padres' only trip to Pittsburgh this season, everything will be done to get all four games in before the Padres head to Washington Sunday evening.

That could mean a lot of weather delays and the possibility of a doubleheader toward the end of the series.

And while teams on the East are constructed with an eye toward such eventualities, teams from sunny Southern California are constructed differently.

As the Padres prepared to leave San Diego on Tuesday, manager Andy Green had already studied the forecast and how it might affect his pitching. Clouds had already formed over the Padres' rotation. The Padres placed rookie left-handed starter Joey Lucchesi on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained glute muscle -- leaving the Padres with only four starters.

"We'll need another starting pitcher Sunday or Monday," said Green, optimistically. "But the weather in Pittsburgh could change things in the bullpen."

The Padres have already dipped into the bullpen for one starter -- Jordan Lyles, who was perfect for 7 1/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday in his second start. Lyles took Bryan Mitchell's spot in rotation, and Mitchell is now in the Padres bullpen, along with Robbie Erlin, who has already made a spot start.

To open the series Thursday, the Padres will send out rookie left-hander Eric Lauer (1-2, 8.27 ERA) against Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.17).

Kuhl will be making his ninth start of the season. He has allowed 45 hits in 45 1/3 innings with 16 walks and 42 strikeouts. Kuhl, 25, the Pirates' ninth-round pick in the 2013 draft, has a 17-17 career record with a 4.28 ERA in 53 starts.

In his most recent start, Kuhl allowed three runs, six hits and four walks over six innings and did not get a decision in the Pirates' 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.

Kuhl will be making his third career start against the Padres. He has a 1-0 record with a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings against San Diego. He has given up nine hits and nine walks against eight strikeouts in those two games.

Kuhl has a 10-8 record with a 4.79 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 26 home starts at PNC Park.

The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Lauer, 22, has made four starts for the Padres since being promoted from Triple-A El Paso on April 24.

One of his starts was brilliant. On May 6 in San Diego, Lauer shutout the Dodgers on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings.

His other three outings have been something else. He has given up 15 earned runs on 20 hits and seven walks in 10 1/3 innings - for a WHIP of 2.61. In his most recent start, he gave up four homers in a span of 2 1/3 innings Friday against the Cardinals.

"I think Eric is learning," Green said. "I think what gets lost in the shuffle so much is, I don't know of another starting pitcher outside of Lucchesi who is in the big leagues from that 2016 draft class. That's how quickly he got to the major leagues right now.

"There should be expected some outings like last time. There should be some expectations that he has to find his footing from time to time. I think we're optimistic going into the start in Pittsburgh that he has enough stuff to get guys out. We just want to see him attack hitters."

Lauer has never faced the Pirates.

Updated May 17, 2018

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