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Preview: Reds at Pirates
Weather information is currently unavailable. 5-Day Forecast GAME: Cincinnati Reds (63-97) at Pittsburgh Pirates (97-63)
DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 03 – 7:05 PM EST
WHERE: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
Veteran A.J. Burnett will make the final regular-season start of his career and there will be a lot riding on it as the Pittsburgh Pirates try to hold off the Chicago Cubs for the top wild card in the National League. Burnett, who is retiring after this season, can help provide the clincher for host Pittsburgh when it continues a three-game series against the skidding Cincinnati Reds.
The Pirates whittled their magic number to one in dramatic fashion Friday on a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning by Starling Marte, who had been 3-for-24 in his previous six games. It was the 11th walk-off win of the season for Pittsburgh and sent the reeling Reds to their 13th consecutive loss – their longest skid since 1945. Joey Votto tied Pete Rose’s franchise record by reaching base for the 48th straight game. Cincinnati will start a rookie for the 63rd consecutive game and 109th time this season when left-hander Brandon Finnegan opposes Burnett.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), ROOT (Pittsburgh)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds LH Brandon Finnegan (4-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. Pirates RH A.J. Burnett (9-6, 3.15)
Finnegan, one of three left-handers the Reds acquired in the deal that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City just prior to the deadline, will be making his fourth straight start. A first-round pick out of TCU last year, Finnegan has yet to go past five innings, giving up three runs and eight hits in a loss at Washington last time out. All three of Finnegan’s starts have come on the road, a stretch in which he’s allowed five homers.
Burnett is coming off his longest outing since spending six weeks on the disabled list with an elbow strain, taking the loss at the Chicago Cubs last time out despite allowing two runs on seven hits over six innings. Burnett has not permitted more than three runs in any of his four turns since coming off the DL. His last start before he was hurt came at Cincinnati, when he was roughed up for eight runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
1. Cincinnati has not lost 14 in a row since 1937.
2. Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen is 6-for-14 during a four-game hitting streak.
3. Reds SS Eugenio Suarez homered and drove in three runs Friday to end a 10-game RBI drought.
PREDICTION: Pirates 6, Reds 3