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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

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia at Syracuse

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • NHL Hurricanes at Chicago

    Tomorrow at 8:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tuesday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
2nd
ORL 24
CHA 30
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
Final
CHI 86
LAC 96
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
 
2nd
ORL 24
CHA 30
 
2nd
BOS 45
GSW 28
 
1st
IND 23
PHI 20
 
2nd
SAC 23
POR 34
 
6:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
1st
WAKE 13
PITT 7
 
7:00pm Tonight
STAN
OREG
7:30pm Tonight
OSU
PURD
8:30pm Tonight
COL
ARST
9:30pm Tonight
UCLA
WASU
3rd
WIN 5
LOS 2
 
2nd
PIT 3
CLB 1
 
2nd
FLA 3
TAM 1
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
STL