PADRES (38-37) AT PIRATES (33-40)
7:05 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, FSSD, MLB.TV
The San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates will carry some feel-good moments into their weekend series that opens Friday at PNC Park.
The visiting Padres are coming off a series sweep of Milwaukee that gave them a four-game winning streak and boosted them back over .500.
Pittsburgh split a two-game series against Detroit and has bounced back from a seven-game losing streak by going 3-2 in the past five games, but it was a rally from a six-run deficit Wednesday to beat the Tigers that lingers.
Both teams had Thursday off after 8-7 wins.
San Diego is opening a five-game road trip.
“It’s fun to watch these guys play baseball,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “Anytime you sweep any club, it’s good. Anytime you sweep a first-place club, it’s really good. We have a lot of firepower. We have a number of guys going good right now.”
San Diego has scored 58 runs over its past seven games, encompassing two series.
First baseman Eric Hosmer homered and had three hits Wednesday against the Brewers, and he didn’t even have the biggest blast of the game. That came from Franmil Reyes, who hit a go-ahead three-run homer.
“Guys are clicking at the right time right now,” Hosmer said.
The Pirates’ warm and fuzzies are little more short-term. That seven-game losing streak pushed them to last in the National League Central, and they are still clawing their way back toward .500, but winning a few games since then and Wednesday’s big comeback — rookie Bryan Reynolds hit a go-ahead three-run homer — buoyed them.
“Top to bottom in our lineup, it’s just been really impressive over this tough stretch for us,” said right-hander Trevor Williams, who returned from the injured list to start Wednesday. “I hope this is the turning point. I think it’s going to start coming together.”
For that to continue, Pittsburgh will need another bounce-back performance from right-hander Joe Musgrove, who will try to tame the San Diego offense.
Musgrove (4-7, 4.87 ERA) is expected to face San Diego left-hander Eric Lauer (5-6, 4.60 ERA) Friday.
In his last win on June 5, Musgrove gave up three runs and five hits and pitched into the ninth in a 7-4 victory against Atlanta.
“I feel like this is something I can build on and turn my season around,” Musgrove said at the time, but since then he was ejected in the first inning on June 10, also against Atlanta, and gave up six runs and nine hits in four innings on June 13 in a 6-5 loss, again against the Braves.
Musgrove has given up six homers over his past seven starts after giving up one over his first nine appearances.
He is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in two career starts against the Padres. One of those was a 6-3 win on June 29 last year against Lauer.
Lauer has lost his past two starts, including a clunker Saturday when he gave up five runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings in a 14-8 loss against Colorado.
Against Pittsburgh, Lauer is 0-1 in three career starts with a 4.70 ERA.
In mid-May, the Pirates won three of four games in a series at San Diego.
–Field Level Media