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Preview: Reds (64-69) at Pirates (68-64)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 2
Venue: PNC Park
Date: September 21, 2013 7:05 PM EDT
  

After stunning the slumping Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of this three-game set, the Cincinnati Reds are looking for more.

Manager Clint Hurdle's club, meanwhile, is hoping to quickly move on.

The visiting Reds go for a fifth consecutive win Saturday night against the fellow wild card-leading Pirates, who are headed in the wrong direction with the playoffs fast approaching.

Cincinnati (88-66) appeared headed for defeat before storming back in Friday's 6-5, 10-inning victory. Billy Hamilton continued his recent treachery on the basepaths during a three-run ninth-inning rally, and Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking homer in the 10th to help the Reds pull even with Pittsburgh (88-66) atop the NL wild-card standings. Both clubs sit two games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis.

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"That's really uncommon, really rare, and for us to have done that in a game like this, against this squad ... that makes it even more rare and pretty impressive," Votto said. "Guys just strung together a bunch of tough at_bats."

Hamilton, who entered as a pinch-runner, stole second before coming around to score on Devin Mesoraco's infield single. The speedster has only received eight at_bats, but he has 10 stolen bases in as many tries since getting called up Sept. 2.

"(Hamilton) is not just a track star. He's a baseball player who can steal bases," Hurdle told the Pirates' official website. "This guy is a good young player."

While Cincinnati has outscored opponents 28-11 during its winning streak, the Pirates have hit .219 in dropping four of five.

"Who said it was going to be easy?" Hurdle said. "We've been very good winning as a team, losing as a team ... we've got to find a way to finish things off."

Things aren't about to get any easier against Homer Bailey (11-10, 3.40 ERA), who has had the Pirates' number over the course of his career. The right-hander has gone 8-3 while recording a 2.66 ERA and two shutouts, including a no-hitter last September 28 in his most recent visit to PNC Park. Pedro Alvarez has managed two hits in 15 at_bats in their matchups, and Jordy Mercer is 1 for 10.

Bailey has also shined during a nine-start stretch overall, earning a career-high six consecutive wins while posting a 2.60 ERA. He allowed three runs in seven innings in Saturday's 7-3 victory at Milwaukee, moving above .500 for the first time since winning his season debut April 5.

"As long as we win at the end of the day, I couldn't care less what my record is," he told MLB's official website.

The Pirates counter with A.J. Burnett (8-11, 3.43), who took a shutout into the seventh inning before giving up both runs in Monday's 2-0 loss to San Diego. The right-hander had surrendered at least five runs in four of his previous seven starts.

He's 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA in his last four home outings.

Burnett had won four consecutive starts against Cincinnati before going 0-3 in his last four despite a 2.81 ERA. He yielded five runs - two earned - and a season-high 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings in a 5-4 road loss July 20.

Jay Bruce is 2 for his last 19 with eight strikeouts in their matchups, and Todd Frazier and Ryan Hanigan are a combined 2 for 21.

Mercer is 12 for 30 (.400) with six doubles in his last nine games.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Reds at Pirates
Fri, Sep 20 Final 6 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Reds at Pirates
Sat, Sep 21 Final 2 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Reds at Pirates
Sun, Sep 22 Final 11 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CIN         
 PIT         
BT MOVEMENTS

 
 
  
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