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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 3rd (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (1-0) at Pittsburgh Pirates (0-1), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Edwin Jackson (0-0, 0.00) Pittsburgh - Wandy Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - Wandy Rodriguez hopes to duplicate his start from a year ago when the Pittsburgh Pirates continue a season-opening three-game series with the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.

Rodriguez was just 2-2 in five April starts a year ago, but allowed only six earned runs in 31 1/3 innings. For his career the first month has always been his best, as he has pitched to a 2.95 ERA in 33 April starts.

"I wasn't even aware of that, but that sounds good," said Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes. "It's very important that you get off to a good start, it's definitely what we need to do, and it's not surprising at all out of Wandy. He's got very good stuff, and when he's on, he's tough to handle."

The 34-year-old left-hander, who was acquired by the Pirates from Houston last July, may be in store for another strong beginning if the World Baseball Classic is any indication. Rodriguez made two starts for the Dominican Republic and was 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA.

Chicago, meanwhile, will unveil one of its few offseason additions on Wednesday when righty Edwin Jackson takes the hill.

Jackson, who will be pitching for his eighth big league team, made 31 starts last season with the Washington Nationals, going 10-11 with a 4.03 earned run average for the Nationals.

Chicago wouldn't mind Jackson pitching the way Jeff Samardzija did in Monday's opener. The former Notre Dame football standout tossed eight scoreless innings and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run home run to power the Cubs to a 3-1 win.

"It's my first Opening Day ... and to get the win is good to get off on the right note," Rizzo said.

Samardzija (1-0) struck out nine and walked one while serving up only two hits, and Kyuji Fujikawa recorded the final out of the contest to earn his first career save.

"The last two times we've seen him, he's been a beast out there," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Samardzija. "He's had command of everything out of his hand."

Andrew McCutchen scored the lone run for the Pirates, while A.J. Burnett (0-1) allowed six hits and three runs in 5 2/3 frames. He also struck out 10 and walked one in defeat.

Chicago split 16 meetings with the Pirates a year ago.

04/03 10:36:12 ET

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Buffalo

    Tomorrow at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

Scoreboard
Local
Final
PAW 2
DUR 8
 
Final
MIA 2
PHI 6
Final
CLE 10
TOR 7
Final
NYM 0
WAS 1
Final
ATL 5
CIN 0
Final
BAL 4
TAM 2
Final
MIN 13
CWS 3
Final
KAN 4
DET 6
Final
HOU 7
SEA 6
Final
STL 3
PIT 2
Final
CHC 3
MIL 5
Final
TEX 1
OAK 7
Final
SFG 5
ANA 0
Final
LOS 1
ARI 0
Final
SDP 8
COL 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 8
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
MIA
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
TAM
 
7:20pm Tonight
MIL
LOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
STL
CHC
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
OAK
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
SEA
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
SDP
 
Final
ATL 98
WAS 104
Final
GSW 101
MEM 86
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
CHI
 
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
 
Final
MON 2
TAM 6
Final
CHI 4
MIN 1
Final
ANA 3
CAL 0
7:30pm Tonight
WAS
NYR
 
Final
PAW 2
DUR 8