- Former Red Arroyo's assistant charged with stealing his yacht
- Frazier's jersey is 13th most popular in 2015
- After 98 loss season Reds short-term future looks bleak
- Joey Votto named Reds' nominee for 2015 Hank Aaron Award
- Reds 2015: What went right; what wrong; fixes to make
- Reds end season with a loss, finish 64-98
- Pirates clinch home field in wild-card game with win 4-0
- Reds spoil Burnett's finale, beat Bucs to stop 13-game skid
- Jocketty announces Price will return as manager in 2016
- Votto ties record as Reds losing streak reaches 13
- Jackson homer leads Cubs to 5-3 win over Reds
- Jackson drives in 5; Cubs beat Reds 10-3
- Reds lose 10th straight, Votto reaches base again
- Scherzer close to 2nd no-no of 2015, Nats beat Reds 5-1
- DeGrom, NL East champion Mets finish season sweep of Reds
- Reds make a waiver claim
- Mets clinch 1st playoff spot since '06 by beating Reds 10-2
- Duda, Mets cut magic number to 1 with 12-5 win over Reds
- MLB says Rose, commissioner have met on reinstatement
- Mets rally to beat Reds 6-4, close in on NL East title
- Carpenter homers twice as Cardinals rout Reds 10-2
- Reds lose third straight with 3-1 loss to Cardinals
- Pete Rose says he's 'just happy' to meet with commissioner
- Billy Hamilton to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery
- Piscotty gets go-ahead hit, Cardinals beat Reds 2-1
- Piscotty gets go-ahead hit, Cardinals beat Reds 2-1
- Brewers end 8-game skid in 8-4 win over Reds
- Reds get 9-7 win after Brewers' Herrera injured in collision
- Finnegan wins first start in majors as Reds beat Brewers 5-3
- Dodgers designate former Reds pitcher Latos for assignment
- Reds rally falls short in 5-3 loss to Giants
- Finnegan slated to start on Friday for Reds
- Reds win wild one out west over Giants
- Reds west-coast swing starts with 5-3 loss to Giants
- J.J. Hoover named Reds nominee for the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award
- Cardinals beat Reds 9-2 and avoid sweep
- Slumping Cardinals drop third straight to Reds 5-1
- Duvall helps Reds beat Cardinals 4-2
- Cardinals at Reds game suspended in top of 8th tied 2-2
- Votto receives two game suspension, plans to appeal
- Votto gets two-game suspension for tirade; will appeal
- Reds will try to continue Cardinals ride down rocky road
- Pete Rose's signature moment on field came 30 years ago
- Frazier and Phillips HR, Reds hand Cards 4th loss in 5 games
- Reds star Votto mum on tantrum, no word on possible penalty
- Lamb still chasing first win, faces Cardinals
- Votto goes wild in argument, Pirates beat Reds on Kang slam
- Reds go for series win against resurgent Pirates starter Happ
- Rookie Raisel Iglesias struggles, Pirates beat Reds 7-3
- Tuesday Pirates starter has struggled against Reds
Reds, Pirates meet as playoff hopefuls
Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 12:31 PM EDT
PITTSBURGH (KEVIN CHROUST/STATS/AP) --The Pittsburgh Pirates have begun to improve on an uninspiring divisional record during their current 15-game stretch against NL Central foes.
After series wins against the two teams ahead of them in the division, they'll now try to keep the Cincinnati Reds at a comfortable distance Friday night when the teams open a three-game series at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh (69-64) took two of three in Milwaukee before returning home and capturing two of three against St. Louis with Wednesday's 3-1 victory. Still, the team is just 26-32 within the Central.
The Pirates have won five of seven behind the pitching staff's 2.32 ERA, a number Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.56 ERA) has been nearly in line with over his last six starts.
Volquez, a former Reds starter, hasn't lost in over a month, going 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six outings. He was, however, quite hittable in Saturday's 10-2 win in Milwaukee. The right-hander surrendered two runs and a career high-matching 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings but earned the victory.
He's been roughed up by his former team this season, going 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA in two starts. Jay Bruce is 6 for 11 with a home run off Volquez, while Ryan Ludwick is 2 for 13 with seven strikeouts.
Another win would give him his highest total since he went 17-6 in 2008, his first season in Cincinnati.
The Reds (65-69) have won nine of 13 in the season series, including five of seven in Pittsburgh.
After Thursday's 7-2 home win over Chicago, they've won four of five overall. The Reds stole six bases in a game for the firs time in over eight years. Billy Hamilton had one to accompany a 2-for-2 day at the plate with two walks, two runs and two RBIs. The center fielder has hit safely in eight straight against Pittsburgh with a .425 average.
Mike Leake takes the mound hoping for a similar day from the lineup. Leake (10-11, 3.51) limited Atlanta to two hits in 6 2-3 innings of Saturday's 1-0 win and earned the decision after allowing nine runs in 12 innings over his previous two starts.
"He had A-grade stuff," manager Bryan Price told MLB's official website.
The right-hander has thrown more innings at PNC (56) than any other visiting ballpark, but he has a 1-3 record and 3.21 ERA to show for it over nine career starts there. He's gone 11 starts without losing to the Pirates - a 5-0 stretch with a 3.97 ERA.
He's faced Andrew McCutchen (13 for 48) more than any other hitter in baseball, and it seems that matchup will be renewed after the reigning NL MVP returned to the lineup Wednesday after aggravating an ongoing rib injury Tuesday.
"I'm not going to be passive. I'm going to keep playing like I play," said McCutchen, who is batting .412 in 13 games against Cincinnati this season. "If my body says, 'No,' my body says, 'No.' But it's nothing big. This takes time to heal, and there are going to be days like this. We just want those kinds of days to be minuscule."
Among Pirates hitters, Russell Martin has done the most damage against Leake with a 10-for-27 mark.
Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez was out of the lineup Wednesday, a day after he was removed due to left foot discomfort. Alvarez left PNC Park with a walking boot on his foot after Tuesday's game and was seen wearing the boot in the clubhouse Wednesday, but the club hasn't issued an update.
The Pirates could also be without Travis Snider after the right fielder left Wednesday's game with a hamstring injury.