James McDonald was awesome in his last start against the hander hopes to duplicate his effort from July 19 game series.
McDonald is coming off a victory against the Cardinals on Monday when he yielded six hits and a pair of runs over 5 2/3 innings.
He beat the Reds just over a month ago at PNC Park when he gave up four hits in 6 1/3 shutout innings. McDonald is 3-1 in six games (3 starts) all-time against Cincinnati.
Reds starter Mike Leake faced McDonald on July 19 and came out on the losing end despite surrendering just two hits and a run over six frames of the 1-0 final. The 23-year-old right-hander leads the Cincinnati staff with 10 wins, but has dropped four of his last six decisions, including a 6-4 defeat at Washington on Tuesday. He was charged with five runs that night.
Leake is 1-2 with a 2.01 ERA in five games against the Pirates.
Yesterday, Neil Walker went 3-for-4 and knocked in a pair, including the go- ahead run in the seventh inning in a 5-3 Pittsburgh win.
Tony Watson (1-2) entered a tie game in the top of the seventh and stranded Ramon Hernandez at second to record his first major league win.
Joel Hanrahan, who allowed three ninth-inning runs in Friday's 11-8 series- opening loss, recorded the game's final three outs to earn his 31st save of the season.
Hernandez had tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI double, but Aroldis Chapman (2-1) surrendered two runs a half-inning later to suffer the loss.
Chapman came out for the bottom of the seventh and allowed a one-out single to McCutchen before walking Ryan Ludwick. Walker then pushed home the go-ahead run with a single to right and Brandon Wood made it a 5-3 game with a double.
Jose Veras kept the Reds off the board in the eighth before Hanrahan tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to hand Cincinnati its fourth loss in six games.
Pirates starter Charlie Morton lasted six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits.
"It wasn't a comfortable day for him all day," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Morton. "He was out there grinding and I just think the intensity of pitch, after pitch, after pitch, just kind of wore him down early."
Reds starter Dontrelle Willis, who has yet to earn a win in eight starts this season, allowed three runs on eight hits over six frames.
"There's some guys that played baseball last year that don't have a job now, that had great years," said Willis. "I'm just thankful for the opportunity and everything else is icing on the cake."
The Pirates own a sizeable 8-3 advantage in the season series between these clubs.