Cincinnati (40-42) at Pittsburgh (34-46)

Heavy Rain Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 3, 2003
  • TV: FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Josh Fogg hopes to build on his first home win of the season when the Pittsburgh Pirates conclude a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park.

Fogg, who spent a month on the disabled list earlier this year with a strained oblique muscle in his left side, had gone 0-2 in his first four home starts before beating the Colorado Rockies 5-3 on Friday.

“It’s great when the fans are out there supporting you,” Fogg said. “It’s a tremendous feeling.”

Fogg allowed two runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings, while striking out three and walking one.

“Foggie lived on the edge all night and kept me on the edge, as well,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We thought if he could give us six innings, our bullpen would match up well.”

After a 5-3 loss in Tuesday’s series opener, the Pirates appeared to have the Reds on the ropes Wednesday. But Barry Larkin’s two-out single in the bottom of the ninth capped yet another late-inning rally for Cincinnati as the Reds pulled out a 4-3 win.

Cincinnati won for a major league-leading 21st time in its final at-bat and also leads the majors with 19 one-run victories.

Brian Giles homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh, which had won three of four before this series. Giles has five hits in the series and is 10-for-20 over his last five games.

STANDINGS: Reds - 4th place, 3 GB, NL Central. Pirates - 5th place, 8 GB, NL Central.

REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Ryan Dempster (2-4, 6.21 ERA). Dempster is unbeaten in his last six appearances, including one relief outing, since May 22, but has just one victory during that stretch. The right-hander did not receive a decision in the Reds’ 5-4 victory at Cleveland on Saturday, allowing two runs and four hits over 6 1-3 innings. Dempster has not won since a 2-1 triumph at Tampa Bay on June 12. He is 2-3 with a 5.88 ERA in 10 career appearances, including nine starts, against the Pirates.

PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Fogg (4-3, 4.35 ERA). Fogg beat the Reds in Cincinnati on April 3, yielding five runs and six hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 7-5 victory. He is 1-0 with a 3.95 ERA in two career outings against the Reds.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Sean Casey, .304 avg.; Adam Dunn, 23 HRs and 51 runs; Austin Kearns, 57 RBIs; Aaron Boone, 11 SBs. Pirates - Giles, .312 avg.; Reggie Sanders, 12 HRs; Aramis Ramirez, 47 RBIs; Kenny Lofton, 51 runs and 15 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Pirates, 3-2.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - RHP Scott Williamson has converted 20 of 23 save opportunities this season. … 1B Casey will complete his two-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the Cubs on June 19 on Thursday. Casey accepted the suspension after it was cut from three games. … RHP Todd Van Poppel was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. He was released by Texas last month. Pirates - The Pirates are 2-3 on their nine-game homestand. Only Milwaukee and San Diego (both 15-27) have worse home marks than Pittsburgh. … C Jason Kendall is 9-for-21 (.429) with three walks in his career against RHP Dempster. … OF Giles is hitting .450 (9-for-20) with two homers and seven RBIs against RHP Dempster.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 19-23 on the road; Pirates - 15-26 at home.

INJURIES: Reds - INF Ryan Freel (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Kent Mercker (back), 15-day DL; LHP Gabe White (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (elbow), 60-day DL. Pirates - 1B Randall Simon (hand), 15-day DL; INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Dempster ChC vs. J. Fogg Phi
3-7 Record 10-9
6.54 ERA 5.26
84 K 71
70 BB 40
1.76 WHIP 1.45