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Pregame: Another try for new lineup

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CHICAGO — The Pirates are using the same, revamped lineup today as they had Wednesday in the 4-2 loss against the Braves. “We’re going to try it for a while,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Our inconsistency speaks for itself. I’m trying to find a way to help them — whether it’s the lineup, whether it’s the mentality — to push some more runs across.”

The move worked out well Wednesday for Jose Tabata (leadoff) and Steve Pearce (No. 2 hitter), who went a combined 5 for 9 with a walk and two runs scored. Pearce, especially, had a good game (except for that final at-bat). No so much, though, for Andrew McCutchen, who went 0 for 4 with a walk.

Pearce is in the 2 spot again today, as the Cubs are starting a lefty. That will change when a right-hander pitches. “We’ll probably mix and match,” Hurdle said. “I’m not closed-minded about trying something new and seeing who might fit in there. I think I’ve hit Garrett Jones second this year already. His on-base percentage plays, especially against right-handed pitchers.”

Hurdle as ruled out putting Neil Walker in the 2 hole, simply because Walker is a better run-producer lower in the lineup. “As I’ve done my analysis of which spots in our lineup show up the most with runners in scoring position, it’s 4 and 5. He has the ability to drive in a run,” Hurdle said.

Lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Pirates (22-26) – 1. Jose Tabata lf, 2. Steve Pearce 3b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Matt Diaz rf, 6. Chris Snyder c, 7. Lyle Overbay 1b, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Kevin Correia rhp (6-4, 3.84)

Cubs (22-26) – 1. Kosuke Fukudome rf, 2. Darwin Barney 2b, 3. Starlin Castro ss, 4. Aramis Ramirez 3b, 5. Carlos Pena 1b, 6. Alfonso Soriano lf, 7. Tony Campana cf, 8. Koyie Hill c, 9. Doug Davis lhp (0-2, 8.31)

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