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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, April 25th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Pirates (12-9) at Philadelphia Phillies (9-13), 1:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - James McDonald (2-2, 4.12) Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (2-1, 2.83)

(Sports Network) - It's been 10 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates won a road series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Pirates can end their lengthy drought in the City of Brotherly Love with a win when the two clubs finish a four-game series Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

Pittsburgh last took a series at Philadelphia from April 4-6, 2003, when the Phillies called Veterans Stadium home. The Pirates lost the opener of this series on Monday, but have responded with back-to-back victories, including Wednesday's 5-3 come-from-behind triumph.

Phillies ace Roy Halladay was cruising to the tune of one run in six innings with eight strikeouts, but the bullpen imploded and Pittsburgh took advantage. Trailing 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh, Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer to make it interesting. Travis Snider and Brandon Inge each had an RBI single in the eighth and Starling Marte's run-scoring triple in the ninth capped the scoring.

Alvarez ended with two RBI and Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez registered a no-decision with 5 2/3 innings of three-run ball. He also allowed nine hits, including a pair of home runs to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

"Today I didn't have my best stuff, but I tried to compete," Rodriguez said. "I tried to hold it together to a run or two. I made three mistakes, and they scored three runs. I had a couple of mistakes with my location. Like I said, I was just competing."

Vin Mazzaro earned the win with 1 1/3 scoreless frames and Jason Grilli struck out one in the ninth for his ninth save.

The Pirates have won 11 of their last 15 games and still have St. Louis and Minnesota to visit on this current road trip. Toeing the rubber for the Pirates Thursday will be James McDonald, who won his last outing on Saturday versus Atlanta with six strong innings. He gave up a run and fanned a season high nine batters to push his record to 2-2 in four starts with a 4.12 ERA.

McDonald is 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA in six games (4 starts) lifetime against the Phillies.

Philadelphia looks for a series a split Thursday in the finale of an eight- game homestand. The Phillies have lost two in a row and seven of their last 10 games, and wasted a golden opportunity from Halladay.

"To me, it seemed like two different games, because we did so many things well early in the game," said Halladay. "Then, later in the game, we didn't do the things we did earlier."

Mike Adams was saddled with the loss for giving up two runs in the seventh inning. Antonio Bastardo gave up Alvarez's homer in the seventh.

"I was just flat-out bad," Adams said.

Jimmy Rollins, Domonic Brown and Utley finished with two hits apiece in defeat.

The Phillies, who are scheduled to start a five-game road trip Friday against the New York Mets, have another ace in the hole for Thursday. Cliff Lee takes the ball for the Phils in hopes of earning a split with the Buccos and is coming off his worst outing of the season, a 5-0 loss versus St. Louis on Saturday. Lee allowed a season-high five runs in a season-low five innings.

Lee had lasted at least seven innings in each of his first three starts and is 2-1 with a 2.83 ERA. The left-hander has made three career starts against the Pirates and has a 1-0 record and a 3.05 ERA to show for it.

Pittsburgh won four of seven matchups with the Phillies a season ago.

04/25 10:27:26 ET

  • NFL: NY Giants at Washington

    Thursday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Western Michigan at Virginia Tech

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Texas A&M

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Larry Fedora Press Conference

    Today at 11:45 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago at NY Jets

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI