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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, April 3rd (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (0-2) at Pittsburgh Pirates (2-0), 12:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jason Hammel (0-0, 0.00) Pittsburgh - Wandy Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00)

(SportsNetwork.com) - There will be no rest for the weary on Thursday when the Pittsburgh Pirates try to complete a three-game season-opening sweep of the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh won a marathon on Wednesday, as Tony Sanchez's pinch-hit RBI single in the 16th inning carried the Pirates past the Cubs, 4-3, in a contest that lasted nearly six hours.

Two nights after they edged Chicago, 1-0, on Opening Day, the Pirates plated the winning run again against Carlos Villanueva (0-2), who surrendered Neil Walker's walk-off homer in the 10th on Monday.

Jordy Mercer singled to open the deciding frame, hustled to third on Starling Marte's one-out base hit and trotted home when Sanchez, in his first at-bat of the season, dribbled one through a drawn-in infield to send the few remaining Pirates fans into a frenzy.

It was the longest game ever played in Pittsburgh in terms of time (5:55).

Cubs second baseman Emilio Bonifacio had five hits in the loss and is 9-for-12 this season, making him the first player in the modern era with nine hits through the first two games of a season.

Both teams had plenty of opportunities to end the replay-filled stalemate sooner. Pittsburgh stranded 15 runners and Chicago left 19 on after going 1- for-16 with runners in scoring position.

"Both teams had opportunities to put this game away before it got taken care of," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

Now, less than 12 hours after that contest ended the Pirates will send left- hander Wandy Rodriguez to the hill for the first time since last June. Rodriguez was 6-4 last season for the Pirates, but left his start on June 5 with forearm pain and did not pitch again.

Rodriguez, though, has looked good this spring, pitching to a 3.09 ERA in four outings while needing only 89 pitches to get through 11 2/3 innings.

"He sure does feel good; the old Wandy is back," Hurdle said. "It's hard to be yourself when you can't compete, can't participate and can't help. He's looking forward to pitching, I do know that."

Rodriguez is 9-7 lifetime against the Cubs with a 3.60 ERA in 24 starts. He's also won his last three games against Chicago, posting quality starts each time.

Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with righty Jason Hammel, who signed a one- year contract with the Cubs this winter. Hammel went 7-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 23 starts and three relief outings last season, his second with Baltimore.

A two-time 10-game winner with Colorado, the 31-year-old right-hander has made at least 20 starts in each of the last five years.

Pittsburgh was 12-7 against the Cubs last season.

04/03 10:27:28 ET

  • CBB: Georgetown at St. John's

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: UNC at Miami

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes vs Washington Capitols

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Boston College

    Tomorrow at 6:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
CHA
 
Final
CLE 110
GSW 99
Final
PHO 117
OKC 113
7:00pm Tonight
IND
CLE
 
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PHI
WAS
 
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BOS
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYK
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
ORL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
MIA
 
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CHI
MIN
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
SAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
OKC
 
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
Final
CITA 74
ETST 73
 
Final
GWEBB 91
CSOU 81
 
Final
VMI 82
CHAT 86
 
Final
BRY 77
CCST 69
 
Final
PBY 80
CCAR 69
 
Final
DREX 44
DEL 58
 
Final
UNCA 71
HIGH 75
 
Final
TEMPL 66
HOU 54
Final
EKENT 63
JVST 57
 
Final
WRST 58
UWMIL 61
 
Final
MSU 90
MINN 96
Final
RFLSH 63
MNTER 60
 
Final
OSU 81
NEB 57
Final
MAST 67
NEOM 73
 
Final
ELON 72
NE 65
 
Final
LIB 80
RAD 69
 
Final
FD 85
SHU 90
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 67
 
Final
LIU 69
Terriers 74
 
Final
TENN 65
VANDY 73
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 59
 
Final
FUR 53
WCU 49
 
Final
IUPUI 71
WILL 66
 
Final
CAMP 65
WINT 50
 
Final
MERC 72
WOFF 76
 
Final
APP 58
GSOUT 77
 
Final
UNT 81
CHAR 65
Final
MURST 65
EILL 57
 
Final
MARS 87
FIU 69
Final
WKENT 71
FATL 68
Final
ILLCH 67
UWGB 72
 
Final
ORU 74
NDST 58
 
Final
NDAK 75
NARZ 85
 
Final
RICE 54
ODU 63
Final
MON 60
RIDE 63
 
Final
PEAY 64
SIUE 61
 
Final
LATU 77
UTEP 60
Final
SMISS 70
TXSA 66
Final
TENST 52
TENNM 69
 
Final
CHIST 74
GRCN 70
 
Final
UMKC 69
WLVRN 50
 
Final
SALA 57
LAMON 75
 
Final
ARKST 81
TXARL 80
 
Final
ARKLR 92
UGST 83
 
Final
TXST 67
TROY 61
 
Final
COL 54
ARZ 82
Final
PURD 92
RUTG 85
Final
MEM 57
SMU 66
Final
NCOL 77
SUTAH 67
 
Final
MORE 86
TENT 73
 
Final
EWASH 92
MNTST 68
 
Final
PORT 69
BYU 82
 
Final
CSNO 82
CSFU 72
 
Final
IDAHO 92
MONT 87
 
Final
SCU 57
PAC 64
 
Final
UCSB 74
UCD 60
 
Final
CPSL 56
UCI 63
 
Final
UTAH 83
ARST 41
Final
STAN 75
ORST 48
Final
GONZ 59
SDU 39
Final
USF 53
GAELS 84
 
Final
HAW 78
LBSU 59
 
6:00pm Tonight
QUIN
SIENA
 
6:30pm Tonight
CORN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
FAIR
 
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
MAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
BRO
PENN
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
PRIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAR
PETE
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
DART
 
8:00pm Tonight
AKR
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CLST
VALPO
 
Final
NYR 4
ARI 3
Final
CLB 2
MON 5
Final
BUF 6
VAN 3
Final
FLA 0
CHI 3
Final
TOR 3
PHI 2
Final
WIN 1
STL 2
Final
NAS 2
MIN 4
Final
SJS 2
DET 3
Final
LOS 0
OTT 1
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
CHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
LOS