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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

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
2nd
TOR 54
NYK 43
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
 
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
2nd
LIP 46
PEAY 40
 
2nd
DEN 31
BRY 33
 
2nd
MONT 52
SD 44
 
2nd
MTST 44
TENST 32
 
2nd
SAMF 37
LAMON 30
 
Half
SCAR 35
COKR 23
 
1st
HAMP 19
NARZ 14
 
1st
SDU 26
SDCHR 8
 
1st
BC 26
USC 24
 
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
 
4th
HOU 25
BAL 13
 
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
 
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
 
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
 
4th
MIA 35
MIN 35
 
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
 
1st
STL 3
NYG 10
 
1st
OAK 0
BUF 0
 
1st
DAL 0
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA