Claussen is enjoying a strong second half, going 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his last eight starts to improve to 9-9 this season. He had won five straight decisions before giving up four runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 10-0 loss to Houston on Aug. 31.
The 26-year-old left-hander, who was 3-8 in 15 starts over his previous two seasons, bounced back with a solid effort at Milwaukee on Monday, yielding one run and seven hits while striking out six over seven innings. However, the Reds didn’t hit and ended up losing 6-1.
“My job is to make sure I give our team a chance to win,” said Claussen, who has allowed three runs or less in six of his last eight starts. “I felt like I did that.”
Ramon Ortiz threw his first complete game in two years to lead Cincinnati to a 6-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday in a matchup of the NL Central’s two worst teams.
The veteran right-hander allowed eight hits and struck out six in his ninth career complete game and the second by a Cincinnati pitcher this season. He became the first Reds starter to earn a victory since Aug. 28.
Rich Aurilia had a bases-loaded double in the fourth inning to spark a five-run rally for the Reds, who won for only the third time in their last 11 games. They are 2-3 on their six-game homestand.
Last-place Pittsburgh lost for the 12th time in 15 games. The Pirates were coming off their first back-to-back wins in three weeks and were going for their first three-game winning streak since July 23-26.