Prior has battled through injuries to post an 11-6 mark with a 3.73 ERA for Chicago this season. The right-hander has dominated Pittsburgh during his career, going 6-0 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 starts.
He’ll try to help the Cubs avoid a two-game sweep after Jason Bay’s three-run homer lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-3 victory over Chicago in the series opener on Tuesday.
Bay, whose homer in the fifth gave the Pirates a 4-3 lead, had two hits. Freddy Sanchez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double and a single.
The Pirates and Bay are discussing a long-term contract. The sides have talked about a four-year deal that would cover each of Bay’s three arbitration-eligible seasons, and a five-year contract that would extend through 2010.
“It’s not a life-or-death move, but it’s something that I think works out best for both parties,” Bay said. “We have if not now, the whole offseason.”
Last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, Bay leads Pittsburgh with a .307 average, 32 homers, 99 RBIs, 43 doubles and 21 steals.
Nomar Garciaparra went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer for the Cubs on Tuesday.
It was his ninth homer of the season—each coming since Garciaparra was activated from the disabled list Aug. 5. Batting .157 in 51 at-bats when he tore a muscle in his left groin, free-agent-to-be Garciaparra is 50-for-159 since his return.
Wednesday’s game is the home finale for the Cubs and the Pirates’ final road game. The Cubs play a four-game series at Houston, while the Pirates—after a day off—close with three at home against Milwaukee this weekend.