Major League Baseball
Preview
Chi. Cubs at Pittsburgh
When: 7:05 PM ET, Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Chicago Cubs will try to wrap up a perfect road trip and earn their season-high seventh consecutive victory when they finish an abbreviated two-game series at the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. The Cubs matched their longest winning streak of the season with a 5-0 victory Tuesday to move a season-high 11 games above .500.



Chicago has pulled within three games of Pittsburgh for the top spot in the National League wild-card race and leads San Francisco by a half-game for the final playoff spot. The Cubs hope to beat up on left-hander Jeff Locke for the fourth time this season after tagging him for 15 runs (14 earned) in 12 1/3 innings over the previous three meetings, two of which resulted in Chicago victories. The position players on Chicago’s active roster are a combined 23-for-69 against Locke with Anthony Rizzo (6-for-18, 2 HR) and Dexter Fowler (4-for-7) leading the way. The Cubs lead the season series 7-4 after dropping 14 of 19 to the Pirates last season.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, ROOT (Pittsburgh)



PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Dan Haren (7-7, 3.42 ERA) vs. Pirates LH Jeff Locke (6-6, 4.21)

Haren posted quality starts in his final two outings for the Marlins, but he is winless in his last three starts. The 34-year-old isn’t overpowering and doesn’t strike out as many hitters as he did early in his career, but he has allowed three or fewer runs in 16 of his 21 starts this season. Haren has lost his last three decisions against the Pirates dating to 2008 and is 3-3 with a 5.28 ERA in 10 career starts against Pittsburgh.

Locke has posted a 3.06 ERA over his last six starts, but he has lasted only five innings in three of his last four outings. That was enough to earn the win Friday at Cincinnati, as Locke allowed three runs over five frames in a 5-4 victory. The 27-year-old is 1-2 with a 5.75 ERA in eight career starts against the Cubs with much of the damage being done this season.



WALK-OFFS

1. Rizzo was 4-for-5 on Tuesday and is 11-for-20 over the past five contests.

2. The Pirates recorded two outfield assists Tuesday and rank second in the National League with 23.

3. Fowler has reached base in 18 consecutive games, matching his longest streak since 2011.



PREDICTION: Cubs 4, Pirates 3


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Chi. Cubs 57-47 W5 27-24 30-23 16-10 25-21 10-9 6-7
Pittsburgh 61-43 W1 35-17 26-26 18-8 19-26 11-2 13-7
Last Meeting
Chi. Cubs Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/17/15 PIT 3 CHC 0 .167 0 .506 .250 0 .658
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo .405 15 1.051
Pittsburgh S. Marte .375 12 1.163
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs K. Bryant 1 9 13
Pittsburgh S. Marte 3 8 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 4.05 .291 92
Pittsburgh 4.13 .249 93
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo .286 108 .922
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen .289 107 .874
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo 20 57 61
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen 15 57 66
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 3.43 .237 901
Pittsburgh 3.17 .255 830