September 10, 2016
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Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ bid for a fourth consecutive postseason appearance is fading away, and the team can thank its current woeful stretch against its fellow National League Central representatives as the primary reason for the cloudy picture. The host Pirates look to get back on track Saturday when they play the third contest of their four-game series against the cellar-dwelling Cincinnati Reds.
Josh Harrison had an RBI double in Friday’s 4-3 setback to extend his hitting streak to nine games for the Pirates, who have been outscored 64-33 while losing nine of 11 to fall five games behind San Francisco and the New York Mets for the second wild card. Gregory Polanco has answered an 0-for-13 stretch with seven hits, two RBIs and as many runs scored in his last four contests for Pittsburgh. Eugenio Suarez scored twice on Friday and is 10-for-28 with three doubles in September for the Reds, who have just three wins in their last 12 outings overall but are a respectable 6-7 versus the Pirates this season. Veteran Joey Votto collected three hits on Friday to improve his batting average to .325 in his career against Pittsburgh, and has 13 hits and five RBIs in his last 10 games overall.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), ROOT (Pittsburgh)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Robert Stephenson (2-1, 3.12 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Drew Hutchison (1-0, 4.97)
Recalled from Triple-A Louisville, Stephenson acquitted himself well in place of Homer Bailey on Monday as the 23-year-old overcame a pair of solo homers to strike out nine in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-0 setback to the New York Mets. Stephenson scattered six hits and tossed 64 of his 100 pitches for strikes. The 27th overall pick of the 2011 draft, Stephenson will be making his fourth career start and first versus Pittsburgh.
Hutchison will get the nod, making his first start for the Pirates, and first in the majors in over two months on Saturday. The 26-year-old posted a 1-1 mark with a 4.50 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over 36 innings at Triple-A Indianapolis after being acquired from Toronto in the Francisco Liriano deal on Aug. 1. Hutchison surrendered four homers and as many walks in a pair of major-league starts this season and was roughed up for two runs on three hits in one inning of relief in his other appearance.
1. Pittsburgh CF Andrew McCutchen is 1-for-11 in his last three contests after highlighting a five-game hitting streak with a pair of homers.
2. Cincinnati LF Adam Duvall is just 3-for-27 with eight strikeouts in September.
3. Reds 2B Brandon Phillips is 16-for-48 with four homers and 10 RBIs versus the Pirates this season.
|9/9/16||CIN 4||PIT 3||.312||1||.830||.370||0||.967|