Cincinnati (71-82) at Pittsburgh (68-85)

  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 25, 2004
  • TV: FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Austin Kearns has not had a memorable season, but he wants to finish up strong.

Kearns will try to lead the Cincinnati Reds to their fourth straight win when they meet the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle game of their series at PNC Park.

Kearns went 4-for-5, including his seventh homer of the season, and drove in a career-high five runs Friday to lead the Reds to a 14-8 win in the series opener.

“I was just trying to relax and hit the ball hard,” Kearns said. “I felt I hit the ball better (Thursday) in Atlanta.”

Since being reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 24, Kearns was batting .236 with three homers and seven RBIs and was only 1-for-8 in the first three games of the Reds’ 10-game road trip.

“At least it looked like I had a clue up there instead of two days ago when I was swinging at everything,” Kearns said. “I just got some pitches I could hit and didn’t try to do too much and that’s the worst thing I’ve been trying to do is trying to do too much.”

Kearns, who underwent surgery July 2 to remove a bone spur from the base of his right thumb, also went on the 15-day disabled list in late April after he broke his left forearm when he was hit by a pitch.

Sean Casey went 3-for-5 with one RBI and three runs Friday, and D’Angelo Jimenez and Jason LaRue each drove in two runs for the Reds.

Jason Bay and Rob Mackowiak each drove in three runs for the Pirates, who have lost four straight.

The Pirates hope Dave Williams can end their skid. Williams allowed just three hits over six scoreless innings Sunday in a 6-1 win over the New York Mets. He struck out seven and walked two. The 25-year-old left-hander said he felt tightness in his left calf, but was able to pitch through it.

“I just kept a watch on it,” Williams said. “I felt like I could still compete. I don’t think it is anything big. (The trainers) looked at it and iced it down. We’ll go from there.”

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Starting Pitchers

P. Wilson CIN vs. D. Williams WAS
11-6 Record 2-3
4.36 ERA 4.42
117 K 33
63 BB 13
1.39 WHIP 1.14