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Pirates welcome Reds to PNC

Rookie left-hander Jeff Locke makes the third start of his game series at PNC Park.

A second-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2006, Locke was 8-10 in 28 appearances in the minors this season, posting a 3.70 earned run average and striking out 139 batters in 153 1/3 innings.

He made his initial big-league start at home against Florida on Sept. 10 and took a 3-0 loss, then returned six days later for a 7-2 loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

In eight combined big-league innings, Locke has allowed 10 hits and six runs while walking six and striking out one.

The Reds start 28-year-old Edinson Volquez, who's lost three consecutive starts.

The former National League All-Star, who last won on June 29 at Tampa Bay, was sent to the minors after an 8-1 loss in St. Louis on July 5. He returned for a 4-1 loss at Colorado on Sept. 11 and was tagged for five runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 10-1 loss to Milwaukee on Sept. 17.

Volquez is 1-0 in six career starts against the Pirates with a 3.44 ERA.

On Wednesday in Cincinnati, Bronson Arroyo tossed his first shutout in over two years, as the Reds handled the Houston Astros, 2-0, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Arroyo (9-12) gave up six hits and recorded his first shutout since August 2009. The right-hander struck out two and did not issue a walk in his first win this season since Aug. 24.

Miguel Cairo hit a solo homer for the Reds, who finished their 2011 home schedule with a 42-39 mark. Chris Heisey had an RBI single in the first inning.

In Phoenix, Miguel Montero went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, as the Arizona Diamondbacks hung on to defeat the Pirates, 8-,5 in the rubber match of a three-game set.

Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf (1-3) was chased from the game in the third frame when he loaded the bases without recording an out. He went two-plus innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks.

Derrek Lee continued to swing a hot bat for Pittsburgh, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.

Pittsburgh is 8-4 versus the Reds this season.