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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, August 20th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Pirates (73-51) at San Diego Padres (56-69), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (5-8, 3.18) San Diego - Tyson Ross (3-5, 2.62)

(Sports Network) - Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett has a tough act to follow and hasn't been his best lately. The Pirates hope Burnett can bounce back Tuesday in the continuation of a three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Burnett will follow Francisco Liriano's brilliant performance from Monday's 3-1 win in which the lefty struck out 13 batters over seven shutout innings and scattered four hits. Burnett has allowed eight hits in each of his last three starts and 10 earned runs in the previous two.

The Pirates have lost two straight and four of Burnett's last six starts and he didn't receive a decision in Thursday's 6-5 loss at St. Louis. Burnett yielded five runs in 4 1/3 innings and is 5-8 with a 3.18 earned run average in 22 starts. He is 2-5 in 11 road outings this season and hasn't pitched well in his career against the Padres, going 1-5 with a 4.93 ERA in seven starts.

Behind Liriano and some offensive help, Pittsburgh won for just the third time in the last 10 games and maintained its one-game lead over the Cardinals for the NL Central lead. Pedro Alvarez hit his 31st home run of the season and Andrew McCutchen added two hits and a run scored to aid Liriano.

"I didn't feel 100 percent but I thought I was able to make the most of my stuff," said Liriano, who became the first Pirates pitcher to strike out 12 or more batters in a single game since Kip Wells struck out 12 Phillies on July 5, 2005. "Really didn't have to battle too much out there and that helped."

The Pirates will also visit San Francisco on this western jaunt.

San Diego will resume its 10-game homestand and lost for the ninth time in 13 tries with Monday's defeat.

Nick Hundley drove in the Padres' only run and Will Venable was cooled at the plate in an 0-for-4 showing. Venable, the NL's Player of the Week, was riding a team-best 15-game hitting streak and batted .377 during the run.

Andrew Cashner tossed a solid game as he gave up just three runs -- one earned -- and five hits with a pair of walks over seven innings to take the loss.

"He threw the ball well tonight," Padres manager Bud Black said about Cashner. "He had a bunch of ground balls tonight and only gave up five hits. He had some really easy innings tonight and I thought he was on top of his game."

San Diego is 2-3 on the homestand and hopes Tyson Ross can even this set when he takes the mound Tuesday. Ross is 3-1 in his last four decisions and did not factor in the outcome of Thursday's 4-1 loss to the New York Mets. He pitched well and was reached for a run in seven innings with eight K's and no walks.

Ross has allowed only two runs in his last two starts and owns a 3-5 record in 27 games (8 starts) with a 2.62 ERA this season. The right-hander has not faced the Pirates in his career and that could help the hosts.

The Padres have still won 18 of their past 22 meetings with the Pirates and won all three encounters at home in this series last year.

08/20 10:48:10 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
Final
PIT 1
CIN 4
Final
CLE 2
KAN 8
Final
WAS 2
ANA 7
Final
TOR 9
BAL 3
Final
DET 8
CWS 6
Final
ATL 0
MIA 1
Final
TAM 7
MIN 3
Final
BOS 3
NYY 9
Final
NYM 0
STL 3
Final
CHC 9
ARI 2
Final
MIL 1
SDP 2
Final
COL 2
SFG 1
Final
OAK 4
TEX 5
Final
SEA 2
HOU 5
Final
LOS 2
PHI 3
12:10pm Today
ATL
MIA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
3:10pm Today
COL
SFG
 
3:35pm Today
OAK
TEX
 
3:40pm Today
SEA
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
MIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
IND 101
ATL 85
Final
TOR 100
BRK 95
Final
CHI 99
WAS 101
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
DAL
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
MON 4
TAM 3
Final
DET 0
BOS 3
Final
PHI 1
NYR 4
Final
LOS 3
SJS 4
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR