Pirates host Cubs, aim to build on Brault’s solid showing
Charlotte, North Carolina; Sunday, 7 p.m. EDT
LINE: Cubs favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 9 1/2 runs
Pittsburgh heads into the matchup after a strong showing by Steven Brault. Brault pitched seven innings, giving up one earned run while striking out eight.
The Pirates are 21-36 against NL Central opponents. The Pittsburgh offense has compiled a .265 batting average as a team this season, good for sixth in the MLB. Bryan Reynolds leads the team with a mark of .332.
The Cubs have gone 28-24 against division opponents. Chicago has hit 191 home runs this season, eleventh in the National League. Kyle Schwarber leads them with 28, averaging one every 14.2 at-bats. The Cubs won the last meeting 2-0. Jon Lester earned his 10th victory and Kris Bryant went 1-for-2 with a home run and an RBI for Chicago. Steven Brault took his second loss for Pittsburgh.
TOP PERFORMERS: Josh Bell leads the Pirates with 70 extra base hits and is batting .282. Reynolds is 11-for-40 with two doubles, three home runs and four RBIs over the last 10 games for Pittsburgh.
LAST 10 GAMES: Pirates: 3-7, .253 batting average, 5.02 ERA, outscored by seven runs
Cubs: 4-6, .234 batting average, 4.87 ERA, outscored by six runs
Pirates Injuries: Jameson Taillon: (elbow), Edgar Santana: (elbow), Richard Rodriguez: (shoulder), Chad Kuhl: (elbow), Nick Burdi: (biceps), Gregory Polanco: (shoulder), Lonnie Chisenhall: (finger), Francisco Cervelli: (concussion).
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: (hand), Brandon Morrow: (elbow), Brandon Kintzler: (pectoral), Craig Kimbrel: (knee), Kendall Graveman: (elbow), Steve Cishek: (hip), Xavier Cedeno: (wrist), Daniel Descalso: (ankle), Willson Contreras: (hamstring).