Thursday, June 23, 2016

Niese set to oppose Giants rookie in series finale

Jonathon Niese will start Thursday's series finale for the Pirates and try to break his two-game losing streak. The left-hander surrendered 11 hits and eight runs in a loss to St. Louis and gave up six hits and four runs in a loss to the Cubs, getting pulled after 5 1/3 innings both times.
In nine career appearances (eight starts) against the Giants, Niese owns a 2-3 record with a 2.51 ERA.
After facing veteran pitchers in Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to start the series, Pittsburgh will face rookie Albert Suarez in his fourth Major League start.
Things to know about this game
• The Giants' 22 hits in their 15-4 win Tuesday were the most for any Major League team in a game this season. Starter Wilfredo Boscan gave up seven runs and the Pirates' bullpen allowed eight more.
• Suarez is occupying Matt Cain's spot in the rotation. Cain was placed back on the 15-day disabled list June 14 after straining his right hamstring again.
• Pirates left fielder Starling Marte did not start Wednesday after leaving Tuesday's game with left foot discomfort. However, he was evaluated by athletic trainers and pinch-hit for catcher Chris Stewart in the eighth inning of Pittsburgh's 7-6 loss. Marte has hit .344 in 17 games in June.

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