Cincinnati (50-47) at Pittsburgh (45-49)

Fog Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 24, 2004
  • TV: FSOH, FSPI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Cincinnati right-hander Aaron Harang usually isn’t challenged by the Pittsburgh Pirates. That may not be the case this time.

Harang will try to beat the much-improved Pirates for the third time this season when the Reds continue their weekend series at PNC Park.

The 26-year-old right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four career starts against Pittsburgh, including 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three outings this year. After consecutive victories over Milwaukee, Harang will be looking to win his third straight start.

However, Harang will be facing a team in the Pirates which has won 18 of its last 24 games, including a 6-3 victory in the series opener Friday night.

Oliver Perez struck out 11 in seven innings, and Craig Wilson drove in two runs as Pittsburgh won for the sixth time in eight games since the All-Star break.

Pirates starters have won 14 of 17 decisions and have pitched at least six innings in 25 of their last 28 games.

“I told you guys a month-and-a-half ago that I thought our starting pitching would come around and carry us,” Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It has.”

Josh Fogg will try to get his first win since July 2 despite allowing just six runs in 16 innings spanning his last three outings. He is 0-1 with a 2.81 ERA in that stretch and the Pirates have lost all three starts.

The injury-riddled Reds, playing without Ken Griffey Jr., Austin Kearns and Brandon Larson, have dropped three in a row and are 3-6 since the break.

Griffey, who is recovering from a tear in his upper right hamstring, is eligible to come off the DL prior to Monday’s series opener against St. Louis at Great American Ball Park.

“Junior ran the bases today about 50-60 percent,” Reds trainer Mark Mann said. “He said he felt good, so we’ll continue to up his intensity.”

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Starting Pitchers

A. Harang Atl vs. J. Fogg Phi
10-9 Record 11-10
4.86 ERA 4.64
125 K 82
53 BB 66
1.43 WHIP 1.45