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Thursday's scouting report: Pirates at Dodgers

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 5:12 p.m.
 

X-factors

Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik'sinside look at Thursday's game:

• Watch Gerrit Cole's adrenaline levels. When Cole pitched at the Los Angeles Angels last year near his hometown of Newport Beach, Calif., he threw eight pitches registering 100 mph or faster. Cole could be too energized to pitch before family and friends. ... Cole's strikeout rate has improved in May, averaging 9.98 Ks per nine innings. Cole will need to miss bats against a potent Dodgers lineup he is facing for the second time in his career.

• Dan Haren has limited the current Pirates' hitters to a .196 average. Haren doesn't throw with the same velocity as he once did but has excellent command. He also throws a pitch rarely seen in today's game — a split-fingered fastball.

The Buzz

The Pirates have played poorly on the road this season entering Wednesday with a 7-15 record away from PNC Park, the worst road record in the majors. The road test only becomes more difficult in traveling to play a talented Dodgers team on the first West Coast swing this season.

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