Sports

Pirates return home for opener with Reds

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates are back in the Steel City for the next six games and will start a three-game series Tuesday versus the NL Central-rival Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park.

The Pirates will also welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to town on this homestand and went 4-5 on their recent road trip through Arizona, Chicago (Cubs) and St. Louis.

Pittsburgh was swept in all three games against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium and each game went into extra innings. In Sunday's 3-2 loss in 14 innings, Kolten Wong belted the game-winning home run off of Pirates reliever Radhames Liz. Liz permitted two runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Vance Worley pitched well in the start and gave up one run in six innings.

Pedro Alvarez and Jung-Ho Kang both homered for the Pirates.

"All we can do is try to take as many positives as we can from each situation," Alvarez said of the sweep.

Jeff Locke will take the mound for the Buccos Tuesday and has a 2-1 mark with a 4.76 earned run average in four starts. Locke lost for the first time this season in a 6-2 decision against the Cubs at Wrigley Field last Tuesday, as he gave up six runs (5 earned) in only 3 2/3 innings.

Locke has made seven career starts against the Reds and is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA.

Cincinnati had won four of six games and was aiming for a series win over the Atlanta Braves, but dropped Sunday's finale by a 5-0 score to split a four- game set at Turner Field.

Johnny Cueto was touched for five runs and nine hits in six innings to absorb the loss for the Reds.

"He was up," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Cueto. "Sometimes when you talk about a pitcher's stuff, stuff only correlates when it's commanded and well located. And today, I thought he had good stuff but without the command that really made it the typical Johnny Cueto type of stuff. And [the Braves] took advantage of it, to their credit."

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart left the game in the bottom of the fourth inning with bloody right hand, which he injured trying to field a ground ball. X-rays were negative for Cozart

The Reds will also visit the Chicago White Sox on the trip.

Michael Lorenzen will make his second career start for Cincinnati Tuesday night and made his debut in an 8-3 loss to Milwaukee last Wednesday. He was dealt the loss for allowing three runs and eight hits in five innings.

"It's a process of learning how to pitch up here and be successful," Price said of Lorenzen.

The right-hander will get his first taste of the Pirates tonight.

Cincinnati swept a three-game series versus Pittsburgh to kick off the season from April 6-9 and has won five in a row in this series.