Reds turn to Cueto to try to claim series
JUL 13, 2014 9:11a ET
After the reigning NL MVP helped them even this three-game series, the Pirates will try to win back-to-back contests for the first time in 13 meetings with the Reds when they face Johnny Cueto on Sunday at Great American Ball Park.
Pittsburgh (49-45) had a four-run lead in the seventh inning Friday before Cincinnati (50-43) rallied for a stunning 6-5 win. It was a similar story Saturday, when the Pirates built a four-run advantage before the Reds put up a five-spot in the sixth.
McCutchen, however, delivered a tying home run off Jonathan Broxton in the ninth inning before launching the go-ahead shot in the 11th for a 6-5 victory.
The All-Star had his third straight multi-hit game and is batting .412 with five home runs and 13 RBIs over his last 11. He has 20 career homers against Cincinnati, the most any player has hit against the Reds since 2009.
"Huge swings of the bat for us," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's a special player."
Hurdle's club has totaled 20 runs while winning two of three following a three-game losing streak. Now the Pirates have a chance to catch the third-place Reds with their fifth win in the season series.
That's likely to be a difficult challenge against Cueto (9-6, 2.03 ERA).