|5:40 PM PT6:40 PM MT7:40 PM CT8:40 PM ET20:40 ET0:40 GMT8:40 5:40 PM MST7:40 PM EST8:10 PM VEN4:40 UAE (+1)7:40 PM CT, May 18, 2019
PETCO Park, San Diego, California Attendance: 39,856
Pirates leaning on bullpen in matchup with Padres
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Usually when it says "TBA" in the probable pitching line for a team, it means the manager knows who the pitcher is ... he just can't identify him because he's coming off the injured list or being promoted from the minor leagues.
But when the Pirates posted "TBA" three days ago in the spot reserved for Saturday's starter against the Padres in San Diego, it was because Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle really didn't know who would be opposing Padres rookie left-hander Nick Margevicius (2-4, 4.14 ERA).
For a moment, it looked like left-handed reliever Francisco Liriano would get the call as the "opener" in a bullpen start. Then Liriano was needed Thursday when starter Trevor Williams was forced out of the game in the fourth inning with right side discomfort. He landed on the 10-day injured list Friday.
Other possibilities included Steven Brault (8.82 ERA) and Nick Kingham (7.84), each of whom had made two starts without much success.
Late Friday night, a starter was selected. The winner is ... right-hander Montana DuRapau (0-0, 1.93).
Not only will the 27-year-old make his first major league start in his fifth appearance as a Pirate, but the 32nd-round pick from the 2014 draft will be making only the 12th start of his professional career and the first since his 2014 season in rookie ball. He was the 971st player selected in the 2014 draft out of Bethune-Cookman College in Florida.
DuRapau will also be making franchise history Saturday as the first "opener" ever deployed by the Pirates.
"We like what we've seen since we promoted him last weekend from Triple-A," said Hurdle of DuRapau, who has worked 4 2/3 innings in four appearances with Pittsburgh, allowing a run on four hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Neither of the two runners he's inherited scored.
"He's been in pressure situations before," continued Hurdle.
DuRapau has been a closer during much of his minor league career. He was 1-1 with three saves and a 0.63 ERA in 12 appearances with Triple-A Indianapolis this season before being promoted on May 9.
Margevicius, 22, will be making his ninth start of the season while facing the Pirates for the first time.
He has a 1.28 WHIP and a .247 opponents' batting average -- allowing 21 runs (19 earned) on 39 hits and 14 walks with 31 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings.
Two of his three worst starts of the season came in his last two outings against the Dodgers and Rockies when he gave up eight runs total on 15 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. Of the seven home runs he has allowed this season, three came in those two games.
"He didn't hit his spots in Colorado like he had been," said Padres manager Andy Green. "When he's hitting his spots with all his pitches, he can win. But he has to have his command."
Margevicius' best fastball is in the low 90s.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 18, 2019