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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, September 28th (All times eastern)

Cincinnati Reds (94-62) at Pittsburgh Pirates (76-80), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Homer Bailey (12-10, 3.92) Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (16-8, 3.53)

(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett can stay above .500 for his career against the Cincinnati Reds when the Pittsburgh Pirates host them tonight in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park.

Burnett is 5-4 in 11 career starts against Cincinnati, including wins this season on May 30, June 5 and Aug. 5.

In his last meeting with the Reds, on Sept. 12 in Cincinnati, he was on the losing end of a tough-luck 2-1 decision after allowing five hits and two runs in six innings.

In the 11 career meetings, he's posted a 4.41 earned run average across 67 1/3 innings, allowing 59 hits and striking out 73 batters.

Burnett dropped four decisions in a six-start winless skid from Aug. 21-Sept. 18, then rebounded with an 8-1 win at Houston on Sept. 23 after allowing a run on four hits in eight innings.

He'll be opposed by righty Homer Bailey, who defeated Burnett and the Pirates in the aforementioned Sept. 12 game.

Bailey improved to 7-2 in his career against Pittsburgh in that triumph, in which he allowed a run on six hits in seven innings.

He defeated the Pirates with a complete-game effort on May 29, then dropped decisions to Burnett in the games on June 5 and Aug. 5.

Bailey was a 5-3 loser to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his most recent start on Sept. 23 after allowing five hits and five runs in 6 2/3 innings.

On Thursday in Cincinnati, Dioner Navarro followed Todd Frazier's game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with an RBI triple to lift the Reds over the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

Jonathan Broxton (3-1) stranded a man on third base in the top of the ninth to receive the win for the NL Central-champion Reds, who have won three of their last five.

Mat Latos got the start for Cincinnati and allowed a run on three hits and a walk over seven dominant innings.

"I was really proud of Mat. He didn't have his good stuff today, but he pitched and gave up the one run and that was it," Reds acting manager Chris Speier said.

In New York, David Wright hit a three-run homer and R.A. Dickey tied a career- high with 13 strikeouts, as the Mets closed out their season at home, defeating the Pirates, 6-5.

Kevin Correia (11-11) exited the game after Wright's homer, tagged for six runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings.

"Normally I can pick a positive out of a start, but today there basically wasn't any," Correia said.

The Reds won nine of the initial 15 games between the teams in 2012, including a sweep of a three-game set in Cincinnati from Sept. 10-12.

09/28 10:36:33 ET

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