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The last time the Cubs swept the Pirates during a four game set was in 1959. On Thursday, they'll try to do it again as they go for their fifth straight victory, and first five game win streak of the year.
Rodrigo Lopez, 2-3 with a 4.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, will take the hill for the Cubs. His last start was a four inning disaster in St. Louis, in which he gave up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out just two. In his last game against the Pirates, Lopez got a no decision after giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings pitched. Neil Walker is 1-for-3 against Lopez this season, while Andrew McCutchen is 1-for-1 with a home run.
Starting for the Pirates will be James McDonald, 7-5 with a 4.17 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. McDonald is coming off a start against Philadelphia in which he gave up five runs on ten hits over just 5.0 innings pitched. In his last game against the Cubs, McDonald threw 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. Marlon Byrd is 3-for-3 against McDonald with a double, while Aramis Ramirez is 2-for-2 with a home run.
The weather in Pittsburgh is forecast to be cloudy and mild, with a game time temperature in the upper 70's. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 P.M., CDT, and the game will be televised on CSN and ROOT Sports.