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San Diego at Pittsburgh

Venue: PNC Park
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are once again trailing in the NL Central in part because of their recent struggles at home against the San Diego Padres.

The Pirates are hoping a matchup with right-hander Tyson Ross will not only give them a boost in the division race Wednesday night but also help them earn only their second win in the last 15 matchups with the Padres at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh (87-64) entered this four-game series tied with St. Louis atop the Central and maintained a share of first place Monday despite registering one hit in a 2-0 defeat to the Padres (70-80). The Pirates weren't as fortunate after a 5-2 loss Tuesday.

Jedd Gyorko helped drop Pittsburgh one game behind the Cardinals and 1 1/2 ahead of third-place Cincinnati with an early three-run homer. The win was San Diego's 30th in 40 all-time games at PNC, which opened in 2001.

"Everybody's aware of where we are, what's going on," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "At the end of the day, we had a couple of opportunities we didn't maximize on."

The Padres, winners in 10 of 14, might have a challenge as they try to continue that dominance in Pittsburgh and earn a season-high fourth straight road victory behind Ross (3-8, 3.29 ERA). The right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in his last five starts and didn't make it out of the first inning in a 10-5 loss in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Ross gave up six runs, five hits and two walks while recording just two outs.

"It wasn't a good outing by me at all," Ross told the team's website. "I wasn't able to minimize the damage and (manager Bud Black) had to come out in the first."

He started his losing streak by allowing five runs over 6 1-3 innings in an 8-1 defeat to Pittsburgh on Aug. 20, his only matchup with the Pirates.

While his teammates try to hand Ross another loss, Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.54) will seek to earn a third straight home win and try to improve to 3-0 lifetime against the Padres, whom he has not faced since 2009.

Morton is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in his last two starts but much of that damage came from a shortened outing in St. Louis on Sept. 8. He gave up five runs over 1 2-3 innings before being forced to leave with plantar fasciitis in his left heel.

Morton appeared healthier in his solid effort against the visiting Chicago Cubs on Friday, allowing three runs and four hits over five frames. The right-hander, owner of a 2.45 ERA in his last four home starts, was denied the win when the Pirates bullpen blew a one-run lead in a 5-4 defeat.

"Morton had to grind one out tonight," Hurdle told the team's website. "I think he went out there with intent and purpose."

Nick Hundley has two doubles in five at-bats against Morton. Chase Headley and Mark Kotsay are each 2 for 5 versus the right-hander.

Russell Martin has two doubles in four at-bats against Ross.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Tyson Ross, RHP
2013 stats
104.0 Innings Pitched 96.2
3-8 Wins-Losses 7-4
3.29 Earned Run Average 3.54
40 Walks 27
99 Strikeouts 68
94 Pitches Per Start 84
Career vs. opponent
6.1 Innings Pitched 12.1
0-1 Wins-Losses 2-0
5.68 Earned Run Average 1.46

Charlie Morton, RHP
Weather
weather image  Sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
73°F46°F6mph/SE46%7%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
San Diego3rd NL West5254.4918 ½ 8-2 W 1
Pittsburgh2nd NL Central6143.5875 ½ 7-3 W 1
 
 

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Injuries
San Diego
PlayerInjury
T. FederowiczKnee
J. JohnsonElbow
C. LuebkeElbow
B. MorrowShoulder
W. MyersWrist
C. SpangenbergKnee
J. UptonThumb
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
A. BurnettElbow
B. CumptonElbow
J. HarrisonThumb
C. HartShoulder
G. HernandezShoulder
A. LamboFoot
J. MercerLeg
R. ScahillForearm
J. SellersAchilles
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 20PITCHC 5-2Arrieta Caminero 
Apr 21PITCHC 9-8Jackson Melancon 
Apr 22PITPIT 4-3Worley Hammel 
Apr 23PITPIT 5-4Liz Schlitter 
Apr 27CHCCHC 4-0Hammel Worley 
Apr 28CHCCHC 6-2Wood Locke 
Apr 29CHCPIT 8-1Cole Hendricks 
May 15CHCCHC 11-10Jackson Liz 
May 16CHCCHC 4-1Lester Cole 
May 17CHCPIT 3-0Burnett Arrieta 
Aug 3PITPPD   
Aug 4PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 5PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 15PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 16PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 17PIT12:35 PM EDT  
Sep 25CHC 2:20 PM EDT  
Sep 26CHC   
Sep 27CHC