National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, July 20th (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (56-38) at Cincinnati Reds (54-42), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.06) Cincinnati - Mat Latos (8-3, 3.53)
(Sports Network) - Mat Latos will try to avenge his lone home loss of the season on Saturday when the Cincinnati Reds resume a three-game series versus the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.
Latos has gone 5-1 with a 3.53 ERA in eight starts this year in his home stadium, but that only defeat came June 18 against Pittsburgh when he didn't get any run support. Latos limited the Pirates to three hits and three runs and had nine strikeouts that night, but the Reds suffered a 4-0 loss.
That, in fact, is the only loss for Latos in his career against the Pirates. The righty is 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in nine games versus Pittsburgh.
Most recently, Latos was lit up for nine hits and six runs in a 6-5 loss at Atlanta on July 11. He's lost three of his last five decisions.
A.J. Burnett, who has only one win in his last nine starts, counters for the Pirates. The 36-year-old right-hander hasn't received a decision in each of his last two starts with his only victory during his winless stretch coming June 8 at Wrigley Field. That was just before he went on the disabled list due to a right calf strain.
Burnett has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 15 of his first 16 starts. Additionally, he has surrendered two earned runs or less in all but one of his seven starts on the road.
In 13 career starts against the Reds, Burnett is 5-5 with a 4.09 ERA.
Last night, Brandon Phillips' three-run double capped a four-run rally and guided the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-3 win.
"When I see guys in scoring position, I'm just 'Wow, I got to do my job.' This is what I'm all about. This is what I've been working my butt off for," said Phillips.
Chris Heisey hit his fifth home run, knocked in a pair of runs and scored twice for the Reds, who won for the third time in four games.
Mike Leake (9-4) earned the win after he gave up three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
All three Pirates runs came on solo home runs in the sixth inning. Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin each went deep for Pittsburgh, which lost its second straight game.
Francisco Liriano (9-4) was tagged for five runs on five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings as he saw his four-start winning streak come to a screeching halt against the Reds, who are responsible for three of his four losses this season.
"Nine days off the mound and him trying to get back into a rhythm, so ... the counts were deeper than he wanted, he threw more pitchers than he wanted to," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "But as he's always done, he battled and battled."
The Pirates have won six of 11 over the Reds this season.
07/20 10:28:22 ET