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SAN DIEGO — The Pirates pitching homecoming continues Saturday night at Petco Park.
On Friday Josh Sweat Color Rush Jersey , two San Diego County natives — and former high school teammates — pitched for Pittsburgh in downtown San Diego. Starter Joe Musgrove and reliever Steven Brault were raised a half-hour’s drive to the east of Petco Park.
Saturday night, the focus shifts to northern San Diego County as Rancho Bernardo High grad Trevor Williams starts for the Pirates against his hometown club.
While Musgrove and Brault were facing the Padres for the first time, the 26-year-old Williams pitched six innings against the Padres on May 20 in Pittsburgh. He gave up four runs on four hits — including a two-run homer to Christian Villanueva — in six innings but did not get a decision in a game won by the Padres, 8-5.
The right-handed Williams (6-5, 4.03 ERA in 16 starts) will be opposed by left-handed rookie Joey Lucchesi (3-3, 3.57 ERA). Lucchesi had just gone on the disabled list with a strained glute muscle when the Padres visited Pittsburgh in May.
Williams started the season with three straight wins but is 1-3 with a 6.09 ERA over his last seven starts. However, he allowed only one hit with seven strikeouts in seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers two starts ago on June 18. That happened to be his only win since May 15.
Saturday night will be his eighth road start of the season. He is 2-2 with a 4.42 ERA on the road. But he is 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA in his last four road starts after opening the season with a 2-0 mark and a 1.50 ERA in his first three road starts.
Williams is coming off a loss in his most recent start against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Sunday afternoon. Williams gave up three runs on five hits in six innings while the Pirates were being shutout.
Lucchesi, 25, will be making his third start since returning from the disabled list June 20.
His first outing on the day he was activated lasted only 1 2/3 innings as he gave up four runs on three hits — including two homers — and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings against Oakland. On June 26, Lucchesi allowed no runs and only one hit and two walks with four strikeouts in Texas, but came out of the game after four innings when he reached his pre-set limit of 70 pitches.
Padres manager Andy Green said Lucchesi now has the green light to go deeper into Saturday’s game if the performance merits it.
Saturday will be Lucchesi’s 12th start around his 33-game stay on the disabled list. At the time of his injury Mason Rudolph Color Rush Jersey , Lucchesi was 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in nine starts – although his ERA had climbed in five of his six starts before going in the disabled list. The Padres are 4-7 in games started by Lucchesi — who has given up 10 home runs in 53 innings, accounting for 15 of the 23 runs he has allowed.
PHOENIX — The San Francisco Giants extended their best month in exactly two years with a victory at Arizona on Friday, given a huge boost by rookie outfielder Austin Slater and left-hander Andrew Suarez.
At 17-10, the Giants are having their first winning month since June 2016, and with a victory in the second game of the three-game series Saturday, they will have one more victory than they had that June.
Slater had three hits, including two RBI doubles, in a Giants 2-1 victory on Friday, his sixth day back on his fourth recall from Triple-A Sacramento this season. Suarez gave up one run in six innings and ran his streak to 13 starts without walking more than two.
“He really has that composure out there,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said of Suarez. “He’s got some savvy out there. He knows when to make his pitches. He knows when to be careful, too.”
The Diamondbacks will send right-hander Shelby Miller (0-1 Chukwuma Okorafor Color Rush Jersey , 12.27 ERA) to the mound Saturday for his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery in an attempt so salvage another series win.
The D-backs are 5-0-1 in their last six series since losing two of three at San Francisco from June 4-6. Giants rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (2-1, 3.82) will make his sixth start of the season on Saturday. Rodriguez has never faced Arizona, but he allowed just one run and four hits over seven innings in his most recent start, on Sunday against San Diego. He did not get a decision but the Giants won the game 3-2.
Miller, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May, made his first start of the season in Miami on Monday, when he gave up six hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings while reaching 95-96 mph on the radar gun.
“The fastball command was outstanding,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I know he is working on his secondary stuff. That’s to be expected. Knowing that he has taken a 15-month journey to get to this point, it’s not going to be a perfect science right away. The secondary pitches are feel pitches, and I know that he is working hard. Landing the second stuff is something that we are hoping to see. We know we see it in bullpens and at different tunes. I know that Shelby is going to be ready for that challenge.”
Miller, the key return in the trade that sent Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson to Atlanta at the 2015 winter meetings Weston Richburg Color Rush Jersey , used words of encouragement from Patrick Corbin and the Arizona training staff to get through rehab. Corbin underwent Tommy John in the spring of 2014 season and missed the whole year.
“I talked to Corbin a lot,” Miller said. “The guys in the training room, day in and day out they were giving me reassurance. What to expect. I leaned on them and relied on them a lot. They were big. I am definitely feeling good.”
Miller admitted to feeling some nerves before the Miami start.
“For sure,” he said. “It is different than any other game. It is a big day. I had some minor league rehab starts, but those don’t even compare to the games that are mattering up here. I definitely had some jitters.”
Miller is 2-5 with a 3.51 ERA in nine career starts against the Giants.
Slater has been tearing up the Pacific Coast League in his time between stints in San Francisco. He is slashing .344/.417/.564 with 24 doubles and five homers in 53 games with the River Cats. His 24 doubles were second in the league, and his batting average was sixth when was promoted again last Saturday.
With third baseman Evan Longoria expected to miss at least another month, manager Bruce Bochy mentioned the possibility of giving Slater more time, especially against left-handed pitchers.
Slater is hitting at least .300 against righties and lefties in Sacramento this season, and during his short stay wth the Giants before a leg injury in 2017 hit .333 in 38 plate appearances against lefties.
“We’re missing a right-handed bat, and he could provide that,” Bochy said. “Not that other guys can’t Youth Braden Smith Jersey , but you look at what he did tonight and what he’s been doing. He’s going to help stretch out this lineup and us some added offense, which we need against lefties.”
Even with veterans in the outfield, “You have to go with the guys who are swinging the bat well,” Bochy said. “They dictate their lineup.”
Slater has made three starts since being recalled the most recent time Saturday.
“The first couple of times up and down, it is easy to lose focus,” Slater said. “But for me it was try to prove a point that it wasn’t a fluke, that I was here to stay.”