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5
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Minnesota3 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 590
Pittsburgh0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 671
6
  W: S. Howard (1-0)   L: T. Rogers (1-1)
10:35 AM PT11:35 AM MT12:35 PM CT1:35 PM ET13:35 ET17:35 GMT1:35 10:35 AM MST12:35 PM EST1:05 PM VEN21:35 UAE12:35 PM CT, August 6, 2020
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 0

Pirates turn to rookie Brubaker vs. red-hot Twins

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Twins at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. The Twins swept the two-game series against the Pirates on Monday and Tuesday, and now a two-game series will be played in Pittsburgh. The Twins went 8-for-17 (.471) with runners in scoring position in the series; on the season they are hitting .373 with runners in scoring position, best in MLB.
  2. Minnesota is 8-0 when scoring first this season, the most wins without a loss in MLB. The Twins are outscoring opponents by 23 runs in the first two innings, highest in baseball.
  3. At 2-9, this matches Pittsburgh's worst start in franchise history, most recently starting 2-9 in 1974. The team is hitting .194 on the season, making it the third time the Pirates have hit below .200 through 11 games in the live ball era (also 2013, 1926).
  4. Nelson Cruz recorded his 15th RBI in his 11th game, the fastest Twin to reach 15 RBI in a season since Bobby Darwin in 1972 (10 games). He has 14 hits with runners on this season, which is most in MLB and more than the Cardinals (13) and Phillies (12) have as a team.
  5. Josh Bell has a .990 career OPS in interleague play, second highest by an active player (minimum 200 plate appearances) behind Mike Trout (1.001). Bell, however, went 1-for-9 in the two games at Minnesota.
  6. Max Kepler did not record an at-bat yesterday, drawing four walks and hitting a sacrifice fly. He's the first player to come to the plate five or more times and not record an at-bat since Rickey Henderson did so on July 30, 2000.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/5/2020 thru 8/6/2020
(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Right-hander JT Brubaker will make his major league starting debut on Thursday afternoon and try to help the host Pittsburgh Pirates snap a seven-game losing streak against the red-hot Minnesota Twins.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Brubaker (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is replacing the injured Mitch Keller (oblique) in the rotation and earned the starting nod after two strong relief appearances this season -- blanking the St. Louis Cardinals on three hits over two innings while striking out four, and then limiting the Chicago Cubs to one hit and a walk over three innings last Saturday while striking out three.

Now he faces a Twins team that has the best record in the American League (10-2) and has won six in a row.

"I'm just going to go out there and do the same thing I've been doing on the mound, just throwing competitive pitches and going right after hitters," Brubaker told MLB.com.

It will also be the 100th start of Brubaker's professional career. A sixth-round draft choice out of Akron in 2015, he had a 31-28 record and 3.60 ERA in five minor league seasons and was named Pittsburgh's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2018 after compiling a 2.81 ERA in 28 starts between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis.

"It will probably be a bit dependent on how he's pitching and how he feels," Pirates manager Derek Shelton told triblive.com when asked how long he expects Brubaker to go. "We are definitely going to need innings (from the bullpen) because of the fact it's not going to be a seven-inning (appearance), unless he can throw seven innings on 45 pitches, which I would sign up for in a heartbeat."

Minnesota, off to the best start after 12 games in team history, will start right-hander Kenta Maeda (2-0, 1.64) as it tries for its second consecutive two-game series sweep of the Pirates.

Maeda is 2-1 with a 4.42 ERA in three career starts against the Pirates while with the Los Angeles Dodgers, including 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts at PNC Park. He comes in off a 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday at Target Field in Minneapolis, in which he allowed just an infield single and a walk over six innings while striking out six.

Maeda won his Minnesota debut in Chicago against the White Sox, 14-2. He has allowed just five hits and two walks over 11 innings while striking out 12 so far.

"He came over (from the Dodgers in a February trade), and I think during spring training we could see the potential of him," catcher Mitch Garver told MLB.com. "Now that we've kind of gotten into the season, we understand what makes him so good."

The Twins opened their eight-game road trip with a 5-2 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday night as right-hander Randy Dobnak, moved into the rotation at the start of the season when All-Star Jake Odorizzi went on the injured list with a back injury, celebrated his homecoming with six shutout innings while allowing three hits.

Dobnak grew up about 20 minutes away from PNC Park and estimated he had attended about 150 Pirates games during his lifetime.

"It was really special for me just to get out there and pitch on the mound that I grew up coming to the games all the time," Dobnak said.

--Field Level Media

Updated August 6, 2020

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