Harang is looking for his first victory against Houston since 2003, and the Reds are hoping to win a series against their NL Central rivals for the first time in nearly a year when the two teams meet in the series finale at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds snapped a 12-game losing streak against the Astros with Saturday’s 3-2 victory, putting them in position for their first series win over Houston since sweeping them in a four-game set on May 21-24 of last year.
To do so, Cincinnati will need Harang to pitch better than his last start.
Harang, 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA in six starts against Houston in his career, allowed five runs on five hits in six innings of a 5-1 loss at St. Louis on Saturday.
Houston, with four losses in its last five games, will counter with Brandon Duckworth, the team’s fifth starter, who will be making his first start of the season.
Having barely pitched since the regular season began—he appeared in one game this year, throwing one inning during the Astros’ 4-3 win against the Reds on Apr. 9—Duckworth has had no opportunity to stay sharp—other than his regular work with pitching coach Jim Hickey.
“Obviously, we were in games where the starters went deep, which was great,” said Duckworth, referring to his lack of work. ”(So) I’m confident, I feel great and I’m just looking forward to getting out there.”