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Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Venue: PNC Park
  •  

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 2014 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
Cincinnati4th NL Central6671.4827 ½ 5-5 W 1
Pittsburgh3rd NL Central7166.51836-4 L 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, neck
T. BellElbow
S. MarshallShoulder
J. VottoQuadriceps
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
P. AlvarezFoot
C. MortonHernia
T. SniderHamstring
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 4PITPIT 12-2Cole Miller 
Apr 5PITSTL 6-1Kelly Liriano 
Apr 6PITPIT 2-1Watson Wainwright 
Apr 25STLSTL 1-0Miller Cole 
Apr 26STLPIT 6-1Pimentel Lyons 
Apr 27STLSTL 7-0Wainwright Volquez 
May 9PITPIT 6-4Wilson Martinez 
May 10PITPIT 4-3Hughes Lynn 
May 11PITSTL 6-5Miller Morton 
Jul 7STLSTL 2-0Neshek Wilson 
Jul 8STLSTL 5-4Rosenthal Frieri 
Jul 9STLSTL 5-2Lynn Cumpton 
Jul 10STLPIT 9-1Volquez Miller 
Aug 25PITSTL 3-2Lackey Hughes 
Aug 26PITPIT 5-2Watson Maness 
Aug 27PITPIT 3-1Locke Wainwright 
Sep 1STLSTL 5-4  
Sep 2STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Sep 3STL 1:45 PM EDT