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
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.