Coming off a career-high 10-strikeout performance, James McDonald aims to help the Pirates even their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds tonight.
McDonald allowed three runs over 7 2/3 innings in a win at Atlanta on Monday. In that game, the right-hander gave up seven hits. He's 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA in eight games (5 starts) lifetime against the Reds.
Mike Leake, who not only winless on the season but also 0-4 over his last eight road starts, gets the ball tonight for the Reds. The righty's last away win came June 27 at Tampa Bay. He's 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA in six starts vs. Pittsburgh.
Last night, Johnny Cueto allowed just one run on seven hits in a complete-game win Friday, as the Reds easily handled the Pirates, 6-1. Zack Cozart and Drew Stubbs hit back-to-back solo home runs and Jay Bruce added his own blast for the Reds, who saw Cueto (4-0) continue his early- season success, lowering his earned run average to a paltry 1.31. He struck out four and walked none.
"We're a pretty resilient team and we understand how good we are," Bruce said. "We know that if we play well, we can play with anybody and beat anyone."
Kevin Correia (1-2) suffered the loss, surrendering five runs on nine hits through seven frames. Nate McLouth had two hits and scored for the Pirates, who have dropped three of four.
Cueto improved to 11-3 in his career against the Pirates.
"He definitely pitched a great game, he knows how to pitch and has been very effective," Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones said of Cueto.
The Reds are 998-1,036 all-time vs the Pirates, including 5-10 in 2011.