Mar 29, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) throws in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame Notes: Cubs look to avoid three-game sweep at Pirates' hands

Following back-to-back extra-inning losses to open the 2014 campaign, the Chicago Cubs (0-2) will look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the division rival Pittsburgh Pirates (2-0) on Thursday morning at PNC Park.

Chicago turns to right-hander Jason Hammel (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who had issues locating his sinker throughout much of the spring, leading to the need to gut out a lot of performances. In four spring starts, Hammel went 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA, but allowed more than a hit per inning (19 in 16 2/3 frames) and opposing hitters batted almost .300 against him.

Pittsburgh counters with lefty Wandy Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) who is making his first start since last June.

Today’s game will be broadcast on 720 AM WGN and on CSN Chicago.

Here are the starting lineups for the series finale.


Tags: Chicago Cubs Jason Hammel

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