National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 30
(All times Eastern)
Cincinnati Reds (65-70) at Pittsburgh Pirates (70-64) 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Alfredo Simon (13-8, 3.26)
Pittsburgh - Vance Worley (5-4, 3.14)
(SportsNetwork.com) - It's an even matchup, until Josh Harrison arrives.
The Pittsburgh All-Star was the difference-maker in the Pirates' win in
Friday's opener with the Cincinnati Reds and he'll aim to continue a torrid
stretch when the teams meet Saturday night in game two of their three-game set
at PNC Park.
The Pirates had won three straight to begin the series, but appeared on the
verge of a loss upon giving up the game's first run in the top of the eighth
inning. Until, that is, Harrison tied the game with an RBI triple, then scored
the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
Pittsburgh has won six times in eight games, a stretch during which Harrison
has hit .343, driven in seven runs and homered twice.
"He's unbelievable," Pirates starter Edinson Volquez said. "He can do
everything. For me, he's the MVP with the way he's been playing. He's an
The Reds have won just five of their last 23 road games, including six
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is tied for the best home record in the majors
-- 23-9 -- since mid-June, and is in hot pursuit of a National League wild
card playoff berth.
Cincinnati sends Alfredo Simon to the mound after he finally ended a seven-
start winless skid by beating Atlanta, 5-3, on Sunday. He gave up one run in
seven innings of work.
In seven starts since the All-Star break, he'd been 0-5 with a 5.40 earned run
"Simon was ahead in the count and was able to use his whole complement of
pitches," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "There are times when a pitcher is
throwing with the same velocity but it doesn't feel like it. He tries to
manufacture more. Today, he just executed his pitches."
In two meetings with the Pirates this season, he's 2-0 and has allowed a .188
Pittsburgh starts Vance Worley, who's lost three straight starts after winning
five of his initial six decisions in 2014.
The skid has seen him compile a 6.11 ERA and he was raked for four runs on 12
hits on Sunday in a 4-3 loss at Milwaukee.
He's faced the Reds four times and is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA.
Cincinnati has won nine of 14 games with the Pirates in 2014.
On Friday, pinch-hitter Andrew Lambo, who was recalled from Triple-A
Indianapolis earlier in the day, singled with one out in the home eighth off
Jonathan Broxton (4-2). Lambo scampered home on Harrison's triple off the
right-field wall, then Jose Tabata followed with a chopper through the hole on
the left side that plated Harrison for a 2-1 lead.
Tony Watson (10-1) recorded one out in the eighth for the win before Mark
Melancon came on in the ninth and worked a 1-2-3 inning for his 25th save of
Volquez, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, was on the hook for
the loss until his offense finally got going. Volquez allowed one run on three
hits and three walks while striking out six in 7 2/3 innings.
08/30 10:22:25 ET