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Friday's scouting report: Pirates at Cubs

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Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, 11:48 a.m.

Tsuyoshi Wada is the first of three left-handed starters the Pirates will face at Wrigley Field. As a team, the Pirates are batting .254 with a .315 on-base percentage and .359 slugging percentage in 27 games against southpaw starters. Against all lefties, the Pirates are hitting .245/.311/.353. That should mean a lot of playing time for first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who has a .257/.328/.450 slash line against lefties.

• The Cubs really can play the spoiler down the stretch. Chicago has 22 games remaining, all but three against teams in contention for playoff spots. The Cubs have 13 games remaining at Wrigley Field, where they have a .241/.299/.388 slash line and a 3.32 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

The Buzz

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro likely will miss the rest of the season with a high left-ankle sprain. Second baseman Javier Baez will fill the position. Since 2011, Castro's 707 hits are tops among shortstops in the majors. He had been riding a nine-game hitting streak.

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