Happy Fourth

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The Pirates will be taking on the Astros at 1:35 on a Wednesday afternoon to kick off a fun-filled Fourth of July. Last night was an exhilarating 7-6 victory, capped off with a walk-off Drew Sutton bomb to center field, and the Pirates look to continue their momentum from the first two games of the series to set up a possible sweep on Thursday.

Kevin Correia will be given the ball for the Pirates. In 15 starts for the Pirates this season, Correia has a 4.32 ERA. After a strong outing on June 24th, Correia struggled in his last start, allowing five earned runs on six hits and two walks while whiffing three over the course of five innings. Unlike 2011, Correia has been better at home than on the road, with a 3.35 ERA in six starts. In five daytime starts this season, he has a 2.86 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP.

In the other dugout, rookie Dallas Keuchel will take the mound. In three career starts, Keuchel has an ERA of 1.35  and a 1.15 WHIP. A weak spot for Keuchel is his control. He walks 4.1 batters per nine innings of play while striking out only 3.6, so the Pirates will be able to capitalize on him if they are patient. Away from Minute Maid Park, Keuchel has started one game and has a 1.80 ERA.

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