Harang, acquired from Oakland in the trade deadline deal that sent outfielder Jose Guillen to the Athletics, has won each of his first three starts with the Reds. On Wednesday, the right-hander allowed four hits while striking out six over seven brilliant innings, pitching Cincinnati to a 2-0 victory at Arizona.
Harang outdueled reigning four-time NL Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson, retiring 14 of the first 15 batters he faced. Despite the stellar effort, he was not pleased when he was pulled after throwing 85 pitches.
“I haven’t gotten an opportunity all season, or even earlier, to have that low pitch count that far in the game,” Harang said. “But I guess they saw something in me and thought, ‘OK, let’s get these other guys in and finish this.”’
Harang, who was 1-3 with a 5.34 ERA in seven appearances for Oakland before being demoted to the minors in July, has surrendered five runs and 12 hits over 19 innings for the Reds.
The Reds were unable to complete a three-game sweep of Houston on Sunday, suffering a 6-3 loss.
The Brewers are coming off sweeps of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for their first six-game winning streak since June 22-27, 1998.
Richie Sexson’s RBI single in the ninth inning lifted Milwaukee to a 10-9 win over the Pirates on Sunday, giving the Brewers their second straight win in their last at-bat. Milwaukee pulled out a 7-6 win in the ninth Saturday on Royce Clayton’s run-scoring single.
STANDINGS: Brewers - 6th place, 13 1/2 GB, NL Central. Reds - 5th place, 9 1/2 GB, NL Central.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Matt Kinney (8-9, 4.65 ERA). Kinney allowed nine hits over eight scoreless innings in the Brewers’ 10-1 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday—just his second victory in 10 starts. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.50 ERA in three career starts against Cincinnati.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Harang (3-0, 2.37 ERA). In his last appearance with the A’s on July 5, Harang was pounded for seven runs and four hits in 1 2-3 innings of a 6-3 loss to Anaheim. This is his first career start against the Brewers.
SEASON SERIES: Reds, 7-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Brewers - The Brewers are just two victories away from last year’s win total. They did not win their 54th game last season until Sept. 19. … 2B Keith Ginter did not play Sunday due to a bruised knee sustained during a double play in Saturday’s game. … Milwaukee has lost four of its last five on the road. Reds - CF Reggie Taylor had to leave Sunday’s game in the eighth inning after diving for a ball in the outfield. … The Reds lead the majors with 113 errors, but have not had one in 11 of their last 14 games. … 1B Casey hit his first homer in 84 at-bats Sunday.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Brewers - 27-36 on the road; Reds - 30-34 at home.
INJURIES: Brewers - RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Ford (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 60-day DL. Reds - SS Barry Larkin (finger), 15-day DL; 3B Brandon Larson (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Russell Branyan (ankle), 15-day DL; OF Adam Dunn (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Acevedo (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Ryan Dempster (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jimmy Haynes (back), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (elbow), 60-day DL; CF Ken Griffey Jr. (ankle), 60-day DL; OF Austin Kearns (shoulder), 60-day DL.