Pittsburgh (57-84) at Cincinnati (65-76)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 1:15 pm EDT Sun Sep 11, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Brandon Claussen will try to become Cincinnati’s first 10-game winner this season when the Reds conclude their three-game series with the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

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.

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Starting Pitchers

P. Maholm Cin vs. B. Claussen Was
3-1 Record 10-11
2.18 ERA 4.21
26 K 121
17 BB 57
1.16 WHIP 1.41