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HomeSportsBaseballMLB News: Another pitchers' duel could be on tap as Pirates face...

MLB News: Another pitchers’ duel could be on tap as Pirates face Reds

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When it comes to impressive young starting pitching, the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates boast an embarrassment of riches.

Tied for third place in the National League Central standings, the teams meet in Pittsburgh on Wednesday in the decisive game of a three-game series.

Cincinnati evened the series with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday behind seven strong innings from 26-year-old Nick Lodolo, who won his fifth consecutive start.

Ke’Bryan Hayes homered for Pittsburgh, which was held to four hits in the loss.

“They have good pitching,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I think that’s the one thing, they’ve done a really good job. They have good, young starting pitching with big arms and you just got to continue to grind. I think we knew coming into this series it was going to be a good pitching matchup.”

Reds manager David Bell could say the same for Pittsburgh, which has added rookies Paul Skenes and Jared Jones to its rotation this season. Skenes tossed six strong innings in the Pirates’ 4-1 victory on Monday.

Cincinnati will send right-hander Hunter Greene (5-2, 3.61 ERA) to the mound in the series finale. He won his fifth straight decision on Friday, allowing two runs over five innings in a 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Greene, 24, is 5-0 with a 3.13 ERA over his past nine starts covering 54 2/3 innings.

Jack Suwinski is hitless in eight at-bats with six strikeouts against Greene, who has gone 0-2 with a 1.99 ERA in four career starts vs. Pittsburgh.

The Pirates will counter with right-hander Mitch Keller (8-4, 3.36 ERA), who had his six-start winning streak come to an end on Thursday.

Keller, 28, posted a 1.13 ERA in his previous six outings before allowing four runs on eight hits — including two homers — over six innings in a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“Mitch wasn’t very sharp,” Shelton said. “As good as he’s been, he just wasn’t overly sharp and left a couple of balls in the middle of the plate and they capitalized and hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Jonathan India is 5-for-12 with five walks against Keller, who has made 45 straight starts of at least five innings, the longest active streak in the majors. He is 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA in 14 career starts against Cincinnati.

Pirates left fielder Bryan Reynolds singled and doubled on Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to 16 games — the majors’ longest active run.

Reynolds is batting .358 (24-for-67) with two home runs and nine RBIs during his streak.

The Reds are monitoring the status of center fielder TJ Friedl, who sat out the Tuesday contest due to right hamstring tightness. He exited the Monday contest after making a diving catch to rob Nick Gonzales of extra bases.

“We’re just going to have to see how it is from hour to hour really,” Bell said. “We’re just trying to avoid the IL and keep him here and hopefully get him back in the lineup on the weekend.”

Cincinnati first baseman Jeimer Candelario departed the Tuesday game and is listed as day-to-day. Bell described the ailment merely as “tendinitis.”

The manager said, “He’s not in danger of going on the injured list or missing any extended time. It’ll go away. It might linger a bit.”

–Field Level Media

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