Veteran starter Mike Minor will try to keep a personal winning streak alive as the Cincinnati Reds host the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night in the opener of a three-day, four-game series.
Minor (4-10, 5.70 ERA) has experienced a sharp change in fortunes since opening his first season in Cincinnati with a 1-10 mark to go with a 6.31 ERA over his first 13 starts.
In his last four starts, Minor is 3-0 with a 3.91 ERA, including Wednesday, when he scattered 10 hits but allowed just one run over 5 2/3 innings. He earned his third straight win in Cincinnati’s 7-1 victory over the Cubs.
Monday marks the 18th start of the season for Minor, who will be making his eighth career start against the Pirates, and third this season.
With Cincinnati facing a week that includes doubleheaders on Tuesday and Saturday, the Reds could use a lengthy outing from Minor in the opener.
The Reds are coming home off Sunday’s 7-6 loss to Milwaukee in which starter Justin Dunn pitched despite being significantly under the weather. Dunn lasted just three innings, allowing a career-high-tying six earned runs with six hits, three walks, one hit batter and one strikeout.
“By the end of his outing, we realized he was not feeling well,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He may have been done there anyway, but he was pretty sick at the end. He was trying to pitch through it today. I don’t think he realized how sick he was until the very end.”
The Pirates, opening a 10-game road trip, counter with 24-year-old Bryse Wilson (2-8, 6.11) in the series opener. Wilson will make his 17th start and 21st appearance of the season.
In his last appearance, Wilson allowed four runs in six innings of relief of Duane Underwood Jr., who opened the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets.
Wilson will be making his first start since allowing three runs in three innings on Aug. 29 at Milwaukee. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 4.77 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on July 2.
In three career starts against the Reds, Wilson is 0-2 with a 3.20 ERA. He last faced Pittsburgh back on Aug. 19, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out four.
Rookie Jack Suwinski has been heating up, as he hit his second home run in as many days in Sunday’s 4-3 home loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. With 16 homers, Suwinski sits just behind Atlanta’s Michael Harris II for the most home runs (18) by a National League rookie this season.
Suwinski has seen his power numbers surge since returning to the big-league club after his call-up from Triple-A Indianapolis.
“It all comes from the beginning of that preparation,” Suwinski said of his work in the minors. “That’s where more consistent hard contact will come from. Hard contact is the goal. You can’t control what happens after the ball leaves the bat. Just getting into more consistent positions to get better, more hard contact.”
-Field Level Media