Pirates-Cubs Preview

The major league-worst Pittsburgh Pirates have won 14 road games

all season. Five of those victories have come at Wrigley Field.

The Pirates will try to take two of three road games from the

Chicago Cubs for the third time in as many trips when they face

former teammate Tom Gorzelanny in Wednesday’s series finale.

Pittsburgh – 14-52 away from home this season – needs three more

wins to avoid the worst road record by a major league team since

the 1963 New York Mets went 17-64. Unfortunately, the Pirates have

no games left to play in Chicago after Wednesday.

Pittsburgh (44-88) is 5-3 at Wrigley this season and 10-4

overall against the Cubs (56-77). The only other park where the

Pirates own a winning record in 2010 is Colorado’s Coors Field

(2-1).

After enduring a 14-2 rout in Monday’s series opener, the

Pirates responded with a 14-7 victory Tuesday to snap a 14-game

road losing streak. Neil Walker went 4 for 5 with a home run and

four RBIs during his team’s fifth win in 22 games overall and fifth

in its last 43 road contests.

“It’s been hard for us to win on the road recently, but when we

can do something like this it’s good going forward for confidence,”

Walker said. “The biggest thing in a series is trying to win that

series and now we have an opportunity to do that (Wednesday).”

Pittsburgh starter James McDonald (2-4, 5.65 ERA) will try to

shake off his own recent slump. The right-hander, acquired from the

Los Angeles Dodgers at the July 31 trade deadline, was 2-1 with a

2.55 ERA in his first three starts with the Pirates but has given

up 11 runs over 11 1-3 innings while losing his last two.

He had a promising beginning Friday in Milwaukee, allowing one

run over the first six innings, but was charged with five runs in

the seventh of a 7-2 defeat.

While McDonald will make his first start against the Cubs,

Gorzelanny will face his former team for the fourth time. The

left-hander enters this matchup after giving up six runs over five

innings of Friday’s 7-1 loss in Cincinnati.

“Nothing worked for me (Friday),” said Gorzelanny, who broke

into the majors with Pittsburgh in 2005, and stayed there until he

got traded to the Cubs last summer. “I made bad pitches, got behind

guys. A bad outing, a real bad outing.”

Gorzelanny (7-8, 3.98) is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts

against his former team, including a 2-0 home loss June 2 in which

he threw five scoreless innings. However, he’s 1-3 with a 5.73 ERA

in his last six outings overall.

The Cubs are 5-3 under interim manager Mike Quade, but have lost

13 of 16 at Wrigley.