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Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Venue: PNC Park
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The Cincinnati Reds are playing some of the best baseball in the majors at the moment and are on the verge of winning their fourth consecutive series.

That seems all but assured given Johnny Cueto's success in Pittsburgh.

Cueto looks to overcome some recent inconsistency and continue his dominance of the Pirates when the NL Central rivals conclude their three-game set Wednesday night at PNC Park.

The division-leading Reds (28-21) have won nine of their last 11 after Tuesday's 8-1 victory over Pittsburgh, as Jay Bruce went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs.

Todd Frazier went 2 for 3 with a triple and a double, driving in two runs the night after helping save a man from choking at a Pittsburgh restaurant.

"He was ... not Superman, he was Mr. Magnificent or somebody," manager Dusty Baker said.

Cincinnati is outscoring its opponents 56-34 during its run, and it hasn't lost a series since dropping two of three to Washington from May 11-13.

The Pirates didn't have an answer for Reds starter Homer Bailey - who threw a four-hitter - and it likely won't get any easier given their history against Cueto (5-2, 2.53 ERA). He's 7-0 with a 1.53 ERA in his last eight starts at PNC after a seven-hitter in a 6-1 victory May 4.

Cueto has allowed one run or none in six of those road outings, and he's 9-1 with a 1.87 ERA in his last 12 starts overall versus the Pirates. His 11 career victories over Pittsburgh are by far his most against any team.

The right-hander, though, has lost two of his last three starts. He allowed six runs over four innings in Atlanta on May 15, and after pitching seven strong in the Bronx on May 20 gave up five runs and a season-high 11 hits in 4 2-3 of a 6-3 loss to Colorado on Friday.

"I didn't feel good," Cueto told the team's official website. "I don't want to use excuses. What happened, happened. I have to get better for the next time out."

Pittsburgh (24-25) had won four straight prior to Tuesday's loss. Andrew McCutchen tripled and is hitting .423 (22 for 52) with four homers, 11 RBIs and a 1.223 OPS in 16 home games this month.

McCutchen is a .286 (8 for 28) hitter against Cueto, but he has three homers and two doubles.

The Pirates, who allowed only seven runs during their winning streak, will look to bounce back by sending A.J. Burnett (3-2, 4.19) to the mound.

Burnett has given up either two runs or none in six of his seven outings after he struck out six in 5 1-3 innings of a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four starts since allowing 12 runs in 2 2-3 innings at St. Louis on May 2. He's 2-3 with a 5.75 ERA in seven career starts versus the Reds, though he hasn't faced them since 2008 while pitching for Toronto.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Johnny Cueto, RHP
2012 stats
64.0 Innings Pitched 43.0
5-2 Wins-Losses 3-2
2.53 Earned Run Average 4.19
14 Walks 12
41 Strikeouts 39
103 Pitches Per Start 93
Career vs. opponent
99.0 Innings Pitched 40.2
11-3 Wins-Losses 2-3
2.55 Earned Run Average 5.75

A.J. Burnett, RHP
Weather
weather image  Mostly sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
82°F63°F9mph/W41%13%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Cincinnati1st NL Central1210.545-7-3 W 1
Pittsburgh1st NL Central1210.545-6-4 W 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs A.J. Burnett
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Valdez21001.500
Phillips42000.500
Bruce21000.500
Cairo81010.125
Bailey000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Johnny Cueto
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Correia21000.500
Alvarez93022.333
McGehee103010.300
McCutchen288323.286
Jones256048.240
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Cincinnati -130 Pittsburgh 120
Injuries
Cincinnati
PlayerInjury
H. BaileyElbow
J. BourgeoisShoulder
S. MarshallShoulder
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
B. CumptonElbow
J. SellersAchilles
C. StewartHamstring
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6CIN 4:10 PM EDT  
Apr 8CIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 9CIN12:35 PM EDT  
May 5PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
May 6PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
May 7PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Jun 23PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Jun 24PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Jun 25PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Jul 30CIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 31CIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 1CIN   
Aug 2CIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Sep 7CIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Sep 8CIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 9CIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Oct 2PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Oct 3PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Oct 4PIT 1:35 PM EDT