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Game Thread #81: Athletics vs Pirates

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Bishop to P-1

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In a season that has largely been centered around disappointment thus far, Rich Hill has been one of the few pleasant surprises for the A's this season. The lefty with the big curveball has been must-see-tv all season long, but for the past month has unfortunately been sidelined with a groin injury. When Hill was last pitching, he was striking out over a quarter of all batters he was facing and completely silencing any doubters during the renaissance of his career. Tonight, against the Pirates, the Bishop will look to pick up where he left off and return to his dominant ways before the All Star Break and trade deadline.

The Pirates season, to point, has also been defined by its disappointment, albeit a disappointment of a different variety than that of the A's. The month of June in particular was rough for Pittsburgh, as the team floundered to a 9-19 record for the month and dropping below .500 on the season as a whole. The team eager to put that month behind them, the Pirates got off on the right foot in July last night by winning the first game of the series versus the Athletics. Opposing Rich Hill today is Chad Kuhl, who is making just his second start of the season in the majors this season. In his first start, Kuhl performed decently enough, allowing three runs over five innings while striking out five. In the high minors this season, Kuhl was excelling with a sub-3.00 ERA, and is likely going to be depended on for rotation help in Pittsburgh as the second half of the season unfolds.

Lineups are below.

Today's Lineups

PITTSBURGH PIRATES OAKLAND A'S
Jordy Mercer - SS Coco Crisp - LF
David Freese - 1B Jed Lowrie - 2B
Andrew McCutchen - CF Josh Reddick - RF
Jung Ho Kang - 3B Danny Valencia - 3B
Gregory Polanco - DH Khris Davis - DH
Starling Marte - LF Stephen Vogt - C
Sean Rodriguez - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Josh Harrison - 2B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Erik Kratz - C Billy Burns - CF
Chad Kuhl - RHP Rich Hill - LHP