Pirates-Reds preview

BY foxsports • September 17, 2016

CINCINNATI -- It's not the most ideal September scenario, especially with one of the clubs in postseason contention.

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are scheduled to play a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park. The first game, which is a makeup for a rainout on May 10, is scheduled to begin at 12:10 p.m. EST with the nightcap set for 6:10 p.m.

Here's the issue: there's more rain in the forecast, which could make for a long and interesting afternoon along the banks of the Ohio River. The start of Friday night's game was delayed 31 minutes by rain.

Pittsburgh expects to get left fielder Starling Marte back for one of the games on Saturday. Marte has missed the past 11 games with low back spasms. He could have played on Friday night, but manager Clint Hurdle wanted to make sure he's ready for the twin-bill.

"If he played tonight and (hurt) something, he wouldn't be available for either game tomorrow," said Hurdle. "It's a couple movements that aggravate it. It could be running -- chasing a ball down -- or swinging."

Right-hander Jameson Taillon will start the first game for the Pirates. It's the 16th career start for the 24-year old who allowed two earned runs over five innings on Wednesday against the Cardinals. Taillon leads all NL rookies with a 3.19 ERA and has pitched six innings or more in nine of his last 11 starts.

Trevor Williams will start the nightcap for the Pirates in what will be his first career start. He's made three major league appearances all in relief, including a win in his big-league debut on Sept. 7 against St. Louis.

His last outing against the Reds didn't go so well with three earned runs allowed in just one inning to earn the loss on Sunday.

Williams went 10-6 with a 2.42 ERA in 21 appearances including 20 starts at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he posted a 0.98 ERA in six starts during the month of August.

Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani will make 18th start of the season for Cincinnati in Saturday's first game. He's produced 13 quality starts in his 17 outings.

Left-hander Brandon Finnegan takes the ball in the nightcap for the Reds. Opponents are batting just .162 against him in his previous five starts. He's had a hard-luck season, twice taking no-hitters into the seventh inning and five times has been the victim of a blown saves.

It will be Finnegan's 30th start of the season, which initially was going to be his cap. But, manager Bryan Price said on Friday that Finnegan will remain in the rotation.

"We'll get through tomorrow and reassess," Price said. "It's not absolutely his last start."

The Pirates are trying to right the ship after losing 12 of 14. They've now won three of four after a 9-7 win in Friday night's slugfest in the series opener.



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