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Offensive fireworks expected as Pirates host Mariners

Mon Sep 16 3:26pm ET

Predictions might be futile in sports, but the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners might want to brace for scores reaching into double digits during a three-game series at PNC Park that starts Tuesday.

That would be based on recent history.

The Mariners (62-88) have been involved in games with double-digit scoring in two of their past four games -- Thursday's 11-5 loss to Cincinnati and Sunday's 11-10 walk-off win over the Chicago White Sox.

Seattle has won four of its past six games, and rookie right fielder Kyle Lewis has been a bright light. He has four homers in six major league games.

"It's been cool," Lewis said. "Just trying to see how things go, get in the flow of it and give it my best shot every day. It's been a lot of fun."

Seattle is expected to activate right fielder Domingo Santana (strained right elbow) from the injured list Tuesday, but he probably will be available only off the bench for the series, clearing the way for Lewis to continue playing.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, got scorched in a weekend series sweep by the Cubs in Chicago, losing 17-8, 14-1 and 16-6.

The 47-15 overall pounding tied the Pirates' most runs allowed in a three-game series dating to 1900. The other time they gave up 47 runs was in 1950 against the Dodgers. The Brooklyn Dodgers.

"We're going to take the off-day (Monday) and kind of regroup and show up at the yard on Tuesday and dial in what we need to get better at," said Trevor Williams, the starter Sunday. "It's hard to find positive in a three-game series like this. However, we have to search for those and we have to glorify those and also be real with the mistakes that we've made and understand that changes need to be made."

The Pirates (65-85) also were officially eliminated from postseason contention in that weekend series, have lost six of their past nine games, and have allowed 10 or more runs 29 times -- a modern-day record.

Still, they expect to be competitive to finish the season.

"Nobody is looking for sympathy out there. Nobody is looking for pity," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "We have to fight and keep playing. It's what they've done most of their life. Just because you're doing it (in the major leagues) doesn't make it any more dramatic. You just need to figure it out and play better, the best of our abilities with the men that we send out there and the pitchers that we send out there."

In the series opener, Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (15-11, 4.30 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander Mitch Keller (1-4, 8.29 ERA).

Gonzalez, who has reached career highs in wins and innings (182), will be facing Pittsburgh for the first time.

In his most recent start, Gonzalez gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings Wednesday in a 5-3 win against Cincinnati.

Keller, a 23-year-old rookie considered Pittsburgh's top prospect, has struggled while pressed into joining the rotation because of injuries.

On Sept. 10, he allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings in a 5-4 loss to San Francisco. His 10th major league start will be his first time facing Seattle.

--Field Level Media

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