Pittsburgh (4-11) at Cincinnati (8-6)

Fair Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 12:35 pm EDT Thu Apr 21, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Off to their worst start in a decade, the Pittsburgh Pirates will try and snap a five-game losing streak as they finish a two-game set against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Pirates, who dropped the series opener 6-4 on Tuesday, were 4-13 to start the 1995 season.

Kip Wells will try for his first victory of the season. He has lost all three of his starts this season, including Saturday night’s 4-3 defeat by Chicago. Wells allowed four runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. The outing was actually better than the right-hander’s first two, in which he gave up 12 runs in 12 1-3 innings.

“I’m 0-3 with a high ERA, but I feel good about the way I’m throwing,” Wells said. “But the goal is to win and that’s not happening.”

While the Pirates have been struggling lately, the Reds have been playing well, winning four of their last five games.

Wily Mo Pena’s two homers, including a tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh inning helped Cincinnati win on Wednesday.

Rich Aurilia also homered twice, and closer Danny Graves got the last three outs to stay perfect in six save chances for Cincinnati.

The Reds hope that Eric Milton can build upon his last start.

Milton finally pitched like the ace he’s being paid to be, as he led the Reds to a 3-2 victory that ended their 12-game losing streak against the Astros on Saturday.

The veteran left-hander gave up three hits in seven innings, his first impressive showing in three starts for the team that made him the centerpiece of its offseason overhaul with a three-year, $25.5 million deal last December.

“He was outstanding,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “Seven solid innings. He did his job.”

In his previous start, against the Astros in Houston, Milton had allowed five runs on eight hits in 4 1-3 innings.

On Saturday however, he was a different pitcher.

“I felt a hundred times better,” Milton said. “It was nice to go out there and feel pretty good. I was able to do what I’m accustomed to.

“This is something to build on.”

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Starting Pitchers

K. Wells SD vs. E. Milton LAD
8-18 Record 8-15
5.09 ERA 6.47
132 K 123
99 BB 52
1.57 WHIP 1.55