PITTSBURGH -- Another series, another last-place opponent for the Pirates (25-17), who face the National League West's basement-dwellers for four games over this extended weekend at PNC Park.

The Padres (17-27) have treaded water lately, going 5-5 in their past 10, but they've also squandered a home-heavy start to the season, posting an 11-18 record in San Diego so far.  The road is unlikely to be kinder to the Friars, who are trying to end a streak of seven consecutive losing seasons.

Chad Kuhl (4.17 ERA, 5.06 FIP, 1.35 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings) faces San Diego's rookie lefty Eric Lauer (8.27, 6.76, 2.14 in 16 1/3) in the first pitching matchup of the series. Kuhl is coming off a six-inning, three-run outing against the Giants on Saturday, his fourth quality start in his past five app...

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