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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

  • NFL: San Diego at Denver

    Tonight at 8:25 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

    Tonight at 8:25 on 620am

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Calgary Flames

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
Final
KAN 7
SFG 2
Final
ORL 89
HOU 90
Final
BOS 100
BRK 86
Final
NYK 103
WAS 100
Final
MEM 96
CLE 92
Final
MIL 91
MIN 110
Final
SAN 107
ATL 117
Final
LAL 94
POR 86
Final
LAC 108
PHO 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
MIAMI
7:00pm Wednesday
OTT 0
TOR 0
Final
PIT 3
PHI 5
Final
EDM 3
WAS 2
Final
ANA 4
BUF 1
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
NYI
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PIT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
BUF
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CLB
 
8:25pm Tonight
DEN
SDC