Final
  for this game

Pirates-Reds Preview

Oct 4, 2009 - 4:00 AM By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer

Pittsburgh (62-97) at Cincinnati (76-84), 1:10 p.m. EDT

The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates will again have losing seasons, but they're finishing in strong fashion.

The Reds and Pirates meet in the 2009 season finale Sunday at the Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati (77-84) is winding down its ninth straight losing season, but also is searching for its 15th win in 21 games and fourth straight series victory.

Improved hitting has played a large part in the Reds' surge as they've averaged 5.5 runs per game since Sept. 12 while batting .281 - a 35-point rise over their season average.

The Reds evened this series with an 8-4 win Saturday night as Joey Votto homered and drove in three runs. Votto is batting .423 with four homers and 15 RBIs in the past 20 games.

Pittsburgh has already set a record for major North American sports leagues with its 17th consecutive losing campaign, but the Pirates (62-98) will close out this year by attempting to win their third straight series and seventh victory in 10 games.

Despite Saturday's loss, Pittsburgh's starters have a 3.00 ERA over the last nine games, a marked improvement over their 4.58 ERA this season.

Jeff Karstens (4-5, 5.37 ERA) will get the start for the Pirates in place of Kevin Hart, who has a strained rib cage. Pitching on three days' rest, Karstens has a 3.38 ERA since returning to the rotation Sept. 25 and earned his first win in nearly four months Wednesday in Chicago.

The Pirates don't anticipate any problems with the short turnaround after the right-hander threw just 61 pitches and allowed two runs over five innings against the Cubs.

"It's been a long season. It's been a rough season," Karstens told Pittsburgh's official Web site. "Just to come and try to finish the season on a strong note would be really big for us going into next year."

Karstens has lost both career starts against the Reds, including 5-0 May 3 in Pittsburgh, but is expected to pitch only three or four innings Sunday.

Cincinnati will try for its 10th win in 11 games against Pittsburgh behind Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.78), who has been one of the majors' best pitchers over the last six weeks.

Bailey is 5-1 with a 1.89 ERA in eight starts since Aug. 23. Only Seattle's Felix Hernandez and the Los Angeles Angels' Joe Saunders have won more in that span.

Bailey will also try to earn his fourth career win without a loss over the Pirates. The right-hander notched his only victory over Pittsburgh in Cincinnati on Sept. 2, allowing three runs over 6 1-3 innings.

He also won the first of consecutive starts Sept. 23 at PNC Park by giving up two runs over six innings. Bailey, who is fighting for a spot in next season's rotation, followed by yielding one run over seven innings Tuesday against NL Central champion St. Louis.

"He's pitching like he belongs here and believes that he belongs here," manager Dusty Baker told the Reds' official Web site.








  • Reds 6, Pirates 0 - FINAL
    PITTSBURGH ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    A McCutchen cf 3 0 2 0 2 0 2 .286
    A LaRoche 3b 5 0 0 0 0 3 5 .258
    G Jones 1b 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .293
    L Milledge lf 5 0 1 0 0 1 5 .279
    B Moss rf 2 0 1 0 2 0 2 .236
    D Young 2b 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 .266
    R Diaz c

    Oct 4 4:22 PM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Pirates 0, Reds 6  Top 9, 0 OutsOct 4 4:13 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JAY BRUCE SCORED SCOTT ROLEN
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J BRUCE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CINCINNATI 6 BOTTOM,5TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: L NIX (.238, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates 0, Reds 6  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 4 3:03 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY SCOTT ROLEN SCORED BRANDON PHILLIPS AND JOEY
    VOTTO
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, S ROLEN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CINCINNATI 5 BOTTOM,5TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J BRUCE (.222, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates 0, Reds 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 4 3:02 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED PAUL JANISH
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B PHILLIPS ON SECOND, J VOTTO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CINCINNATI 3 BOTTOM,5TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: S ROLEN (.265, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates 0, Reds 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 4 3:00 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED DREW STUBBS
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VOTTO ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CINCINNATI 2 BOTTOM,3RD
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: S ROLEN (.267, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates 0, Reds 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsOct 4 2:14 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED DREW STUBBS
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B PHILLIPS ON SECOND, J VOTTO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    CINCINNATI 1 BOTTOM,1ST
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: S ROLEN (.269, 3 HR, 22 RBI)

    Pirates 0, Reds 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 4 1:36 PM