Scouting Saturday's Pirates-Cubs game
Pirates reporter Karen Price's inside look at Saturday's game:
• Cubs right-hander Scott Baker never has faced the Pirates, but he is familiar with first baseman Justin Morneau, and vice versa. The two were teammates in Minnesota from 2005 until 2012, when Baker had Tommy John surgery. Baker made eight rehab starts this season before his debut with the Cubs on Sept. 8 against Milwaukee, when he pitched five shutout innings (55 pitches) and allowed two hits.
• Gerrit Cole is making his first start against the Cubs. The 23-year-old is coming off a 1-0 win in Texas in which he outdueled Yu Darvish, striking out a career-high nine batters in his 17th major league start.
Thursday night marked the 22nd time this season the Pirates have won when scoring fewer than four runs. That's four more than they won last season when scoring four or fewer. Entering Friday's games, they were tied with the Braves in trailing only the Dodgers (26 wins) in that category.