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Pirates Vs. Astros: Jeff Karstens Takes Mound Against Jordan Lyles

Jeff Karstens takes on Jordan Lyles at 8:05 Friday as the drama of the New-Look Pirates continues to unfold.

The star of Thursday night's 5-3 Pirates win was outfielder Starling Marte, who homered on the first big-league pitch of his career while leading off the game. Marte will, presumably, play his second big-league game Friday.

Karstens is coming off a start in which he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Marlins. On July 5, he pitched eight scoreless frames against the Astros, striking out eight. After he pitches Friday, new acquisition Wandy Rodriguez will make his Pirates debut on Saturday.

Lyles allowed eight runs, five earned, in his last start, against the Diamondbacks. In his previous start, he allowed five runs in six innings against the Padres in Petco Park, which isn't easy to do. He has a 5.50 ERA on the season, allowing 13 home runs in 73 innings while striking out 44 and walking 23.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Astros, there's Crawfish Boxes.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.