The Pirates former MVP, Andrew McCutchen, might not be available on Sunday afternoon, as Pittsburgh looks for their sixth home sweep. Atlanta is looking to break their five game losing streak, their longest of the season.
Losing McCutchen seems like a bit of a break for the Braves, but think again. After he left Saturday’s game from taking a pitch off his left elbow in the first inning, Pittsburgh responded with five runs immediately leading to an 8-4 victory. Jordy Mercer, Pedro Alvarez and Francisco Cervelli each had a pair of RBI.
Pirates’ batters have been hit 40 times this season, a major league high, and have led the MLB in that category the past two seasons. X-rays for McCutchen’s injury came back negative, but he is still questionable for the series finale.
Atlanta turns to Alex Wood (4-5, 3.44 ERA), who has lost each of his last three decisions that started with a 3-0 loss against Pittsburgh, who are 45-32, on June 7 where he gave up three runs in five innings.
The Braves’ offensive production has remained consistently low as of late, only scoring nine runs in the past 6 games. On the road in the month of June they are 3-10. Jace Peterson has been in a bit of a slump, going 0-17 in the past four games, but he broke out Saturday with two hits and three RBI.
Jace and the gang might get a chance to end their offensive woes against the left handed Jeff Locke (4-3, 4.73 ERA), who gave up four runs in about 6 innings on June 6. That actually lowered Locke’s ERA against Atlanta to 6.08. Chris Johnson is 5 for 12 with two home runs and two doubles against Locke in his career, and also boasts an impressive .388 average off of lefties since 2013, which is by far the best average in that time frame in the majors.