Pirates look to take good vibes to West Coast as they clash with D-backs
The Pittsburgh Pirates continue a stretch of 10 road games in 10 days when they open a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday in Phoenix.
After opening the lengthy road trip with consecutive losses to the Baltimore Orioles, the Pirates’ mood improved dramatically after salvaging the series finale with an 8-1 win on Sunday.
Instead of a quiet, cross-country flight from Baltimore, the Pirates figure to be a little more talkative after the team recorded its first win at Camden Yards since 2008.
“It’ll be fun,” Pirates outfielder Greg Allen said. “It’s always nice to hop on a flight after a win. We’re looking forward to getting out to the West Coast and just playing more baseball.”
Pittsburgh has won four of its last six games, while Arizona took two of three against the Colorado Rockies over the weekend.
The D-backs will send right-hander Zac Gallen (6-2, 3.31 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. He allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Guardians last Tuesday.
Gallen, 27, is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his last three starts covering 17 2/3 innings. He has 17 strikeouts with just four walks over that stretch.
The right-hander lost his only career start versus Pittsburgh on June 5. He yielded two runs in six innings in the 3-0 loss.
Pittsburgh will counter with right-hander Tyler Beede (1-1, 3.89), who has pitched primarily out of the bullpen since being selected off waivers from the San Francisco Giants on May 12.
Beede, 29, started against the Milwaukee Brewers last Wednesday and allowed four runs on five hits before departing after recording one out in the second inning.
Beede has completed three innings just once this season and will likely be on a pitch count on Monday. He is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five career games (four starts) against Arizona.
The Pirates took two of three from the D-backs from June 3-5 at PNC Park, but Arizona has dominated the series in recent years.
Arizona is 19-6 in its last 25 games versus Pittsburgh, including a 7-2 mark at Chase Field during that span.
The D-backs bullpen remains a question mark after manager Torey Lovullo announced that he was moving to a closer-by-committee approach last Friday.
Veteran Mark Melancon worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning in a 6-4 win over Colorado on Sunday. The veteran recorded his 15th save in 18 opportunities but has suffered the most losses by a reliever in franchise history with 10 this season.
Lovullo is expected to shuffle closing duties among Melancon, Ian Kennedy and Joe Mantiply.
“It’s going to be a very fluid situation,” Lovullo said. “We’re going to have the right guy at the right time in the right matchups step up and get those outs. I’m not concerned about it because I like the experience and the ability to collect outs with some back-end guys with the right mentality. But if somebody emerges, sure, I’ll hand it to them.”
–Field Level Media