Right-hander Mike Leake gets a chance to follow up on history Saturday night when the Cincinnati Reds return to PNC Park for the second of three straight games with the host Pittsburgh Pirates.
Leake's colleague in the Reds' rotation, Homer Bailey, opened the series in style on Friday night, tossing the first Cincinnati no-hitter in 24 years to give the visitors a 1-0 victory.
Bailey equaled a modern-day major league record by throwing the seventh no- hitter this season. There were also seven no-hitters hurled in 1990 and 1991. Three of the no-hitters this year were perfect games.
Alex Presley popped out to second baseman Brandon Phillips in short right- center field to end the game. Once Phillips squeezed Presley's pop up, Bailey raised both arms in the air and shared a hug with catcher Ryan Hanigan before the rest of his teammates mobbed him near the pitcher's mound. Bronson Arroyo gave his teammate a celebratory shower of Gatorade.
It was the 15th no-hitter in Reds history and first since Tom Browning's perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 16, 1988.
Bailey is the first Reds right-hander to throw a no-hitter since Hall of Famer Tom Seaver on June 16, 1978 against St. Louis. The 26-year-old improved to 5-0 with a 1.19 earned run average in six career starts at PNC Park.
Not it is Leake's turn and the 24-year-old is 2-3 in 10 career starts against the Pirates with a 3.50 ERA in 64 1/3 innings.
He was a 5-3 winner in his last meeting with Pittsburgh on Sept. 11, when he tossed seven innings and allowed three runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out three.
He's won four of his last six decisions since Aug. 15, when he pitched the second of his two career complete games in a 6-1 defeat of the New York Mets.
The Reds are 6-4 in the last 10 games he's pitched.
The Pirates counter with rookie righty Kyle McPherson, who makes his 10th try at a first major-league win.
The 24-year-old Alabama native was 0-0 with a 1.54 ERA across 11 2/3 innings while beginning his career with seven straight relief appearances, but has since dropped two decisions in his first two starts.
In consecutive losses to Milwaukee and the New York Mets, McPherson has allowed 11 hits and six runs in 8 2/3 innings while walking four batters and striking out five.
He tossed two innings and allowed a run on two hits in one stint against Cincinnati in the Sept. 11 game won by Leake.
The Pirates are winless in the nine games he's pitched.
Bailey's no-hitter notched the Pirates' 20th straight non-winning season. They are just 13-34 since Aug. 8 and being contenders for first place in the NL Central earlier in the season.
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.