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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, September 19th (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (71-80) at Pittsburgh Pirates (87-65), 12:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.85) Pittsburgh - Gerrit Cole (8-7, 3.33)

(Sports Network) - It's beginning to get interesting in the National League Central race and the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing themselves out of a chance for a division title.

The Pirates aim to get back in the hunt when they close out a four-game series Thursday afternoon versus the San Diego Padres at PNC Park. The Pirates have lost the first three meetings with the Padres and are now two games behind St. Louis for the division lead.

Pittsburgh, though, is percentage points ahead of the Cincinnati Reds for the first wild card spot, while the Reds are just 2 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the division.

In Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Padres, Pirates closer Mark Melancon allowed consecutive RBI singles to Logan Forsythe and Rene Rivera in the ninth inning to suffer the loss. Pirates starter Charlie Morton struck out a career-high nine batters over eight innings of work in the no-decision and Andrew McCutchen belted a two-run homer.

"When you're up, you try not to get to high, you enjoy the moment," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "When things don't work your way, you gotta be steadfast and keep plowing."

The Cardinals defeated Colorado to take a two-game lead in the NL Central, while the Pirates lost for the fourth time in six tries. Pittsburgh begins another important series this weekend with the Reds coming to town.

Pittsburgh has won each of Gerrit Cole's last three starts and he takes the mound Thursday afternoon. Cole threw seven shutout innings in a win at Texas on Sept. 9 and followed that with another seven-inning effort in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Cole limited the visiting Cubs to a run and five hits to push his record to 8-7 in 17 starts, while lowering his ERA to 3.33. The rookie right-hander is 5-5 in 11 home starts and faced the Padres in a 2-1 loss at Petco Park on Aug. 21, when he suffered a hard-luck defeat for allowing both runs in six innings.

San Diego is out of the playoff picture, but has been playing solid baseball as of late with four straight wins and a 6-3 mark on a 10-game road trip.

Padres starter Tyson Ross pitched seven strong innings for San Diego and allowed two runs with seven strikeouts. Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 31st save of the year and Dale Thayer came on with one out in the eighth to earn the win.

"Great win," said Black. "Tyson pitched great. He didn't deserve to lose that game, so it's fitting that he didn't. A lot of players contributed there in the end, it was great."

The Padres will host Los Angeles and Arizona on their upcoming homestand.

Ian Kennedy will make his ninth start in a Padres uniform Thursday and he owns a 3-1 mark to go along with a 3.86 ERA over his first eight starts with his new club. Acquired from Arizona in the middle of the summer, Kennedy, who was 3-8 in 21 starts with the D'backs, has posted back-to-back no-decisions.

Kennedy allowed three runs and five hits in six innings of a 4-3 victory at Atlanta on Friday and the Padres have won each of the right-hander's last three trips to the mound. Kennedy has struggled on the road this season, going 1-5 in 16 starts, and is 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates.

San Diego lost a three-game series versus the Pirates from Aug. 19-21 and went 5-1 against Pittsburgh last season.

09/19 10:23:56 ET

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Today at 9:30 am on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Today at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Today at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Today at 9:30 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Today at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Green Bay at New Orleans

    Tonight at 8:25 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
3rd
UTAH 10
USC 14
 
Half
WASH 0
ARST 10
 
1st
HAW 0
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
3rd
CAL 1
WAS 3
 
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14