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Pittsburgh at St. Louis

Venue: Busch Stadium

The Pittsburgh Pirates' offense has disappeared during a dismal stretch. They're hoping a matchup with Shelby Miller will help snap their slump.

Pittsburgh has fared well against him in the past and will try to turn things around Friday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The Pirates (9-14), losers of six of seven, have tallied two runs or fewer in four of five. They're coming off three straight losses to Cincinnati, getting limited to four runs and 16 hits while going 1 for 18 with runners in scoring position. Pedro Alvarez's first-inning RBI single in Thursday's 2-1 loss accounted for the lone hit in those situations.

Andrew McCutchen has been one of the few bright spots lately, going 8 for 13 with three homers in the four-game series against the Reds.

"We can't worry about where we are right now," said McCutchen, who owns a .483 on-base percentage during a seven-game hitting streak versus St. Louis. "We know we're going to be better. We're going to learn as a team and keep pushing forward."

Pittsburgh took two of three at home from the Cardinals (12-11) from April 4-6, including a 12-2 victory in the opener against Miller (1-2, 3.57 ERA). He yielded five runs and a career-worst three homers in 5 1-3 innings. Miller has lost all five of his starts against the Pirates with a 5.93 ERA and has allowed at least two home runs in four straight. Alvarez is just 3 for 14 off him but all three hits were homers.

Miller gave up four hits in 5 1-3 scoreless innings of a 3-2 loss at Washington on Sunday, striking out seven.

Gerrit Cole (2-1, 3.67), who limited St. Louis to two runs over seven innings opposite Miller on April 4, makes his first start since playing a part in a controversial dustup in Sunday's 3-2 loss to Milwaukee.

Cole took exception to Carlos Gomez stopping to admire his third-inning triple. The situation devolved into a bench-clearing skirmish when Gomez approached Cole. Pittsburgh's Travis Snider and Russell Martin are appealing suspensions for their roles in the incident, while Cole received no penalty.

"I don't want to sit here and not take blame," Cole, who gave up a run over eight innings, told the team's website. "But neither do I want to say I went over there to try to incite a fight."

Cole is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two road starts after going 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA in seven last year.

The Cardinals have dropped six of nine and are coming off a 5-6 road trip, ending with Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Mets. It marked their eighth straight game without a home run.

Yadier Molina received a day of rest but comes into this series touting a career best-matching 14-game hitting streak. He's hit .429 with six doubles during the streak but is batting .149 over his last 13 contests versus Pittsburgh.

Matt Carpenter, whose two-run homer accounted for St. Louis' only runs against Cole three weeks ago, is hitting .396 over his last 12 against the Pirates with nine extra-base hits.

Starling Marte has hit safely in 17 of his 18 career games in the series with four triples.

The Cardinals, who have won five of six against the Pirates in St. Louis, have played only six of their first 23 games at Busch Stadium.

"We've been home six days in the past 2 1/2 months," starter Lance Lynn said. "I think a lot of people are looking forward to getting home and sleeping in their own beds."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Pittsburgh3rd NL Central7883.484252-8 L 3
St. Louis2nd NL Central8676.53117 ½ 6-4 W 4

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Series Game Log
Apr 2STL 8:30 PM EDT  
Apr 4STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Apr 5STL 1:45 PM EDT  
May 12STL 8:15 PM EDT  
May 13STL 4:05 PM EDT  
May 14STL 2:15 PM EDT  
Jun 2CHC 2:20 PM EDT  
Jun 3CHC 2:20 PM EDT  
Jun 4CHC 7:38 PM EDT  
Jul 21CHC 2:20 PM EDT  
Jul 22CHC 4:05 PM EDT  
Jul 23CHC 8:08 PM EDT  
Sep 15CHC 2:20 PM EDT  
Sep 16CHC 1:05 PM EDT  
Sep 17CHC   
Sep 25STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Sep 26STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Sep 27STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Sep 28STL 7:15 PM EDT