Pirates starters had a weekend of double-digit strikeout performances

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With a fifth-inning strikeout of Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, Pirates starter Francisco Liriano became the third Pirates starter to reach double-digit strikeouts in their weekend series. As the club’s Twitter pointed out, it’s the first time since September 1969 that three consecutive Pirates starters struck out 10-plus. The Pirates won 9-1 on Sunday to finish off a series sweep.

Here’s how the starters fared over the weekend:

  • Gerrit Cole, Friday: 8.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 10 K
  • A.J. Burnett, Saturday: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K
  • Francisco Liriano, Sunday: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
  • Total: 21.1 IP, 3 R (2 ER; 0.84 ERA), 3 BB, 32 K

With the sweep, the Pirates move to 21-22 and remain relevant in the NL Central. They’ll host the floundering Marlins for a three-game set starting Monday before heading out West on a road trip.

Anthony Rizzo to wear walking boot for five to seven days

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Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.

Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.

Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.