The visiting Cincinnati Reds will look to continue their power surge against the Pittsburgh Pirates when the two clubs meet Saturday night in the third game of a four-game series.
The Reds hit three more home runs Friday in an 8-2 win over the Pirates that featured a season-high eight extra-base hits. The Reds have won three straight and six of eight after a 3-22 start. Over the eight games, the Reds are averaging 7.6 runs per game.
“It’s all about wins,” Reds manager David Bell said. “With wins comes confidence. With success comes confidence. It’s not that, all of a sudden, the effort was better or anything like that. That’s been going on all year. Once you have success and win a couple games, you can definitely build on that.”
Mike Moustakas had two of the three homers Friday and stands one homer shy of 200 for his career.
Reds ace Luis Castillo (0-0, 5.79 ERA) heads to the mound in his second start of the season, looking for his first win after returning from a strained right shoulder.
In his 2022 season debut last Monday against Milwaukee, Castillo allowed three runs on three hits over 4 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking three while throwing 87 pitches. He received a no decision as the Reds beat the Brewers, 10-5.
In his career against Pittsburgh, Castillo is 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 12 starts. Last year, Castillo made two starts, allowing just one run over 12 1/3 innings, striking out 10 and walking four while posting a 1-0 record with a 0.73 ERA.
The Pirates will counter with Zach Thompson (1-3, 7.08). The 28-year-old righthander will be making his sixth start and seventh appearance of the season on Saturday. Thompson held the Reds scoreless in five innings in Cincinnati last Sunday afternoon, leaving with a 2-0 lead.
But Thompson received a no-decision as the Reds used a grand slam from Colin Moran to rally against the Pirates bullpen for a 7-3 win.
Thompson threw a scoreless inning of relief and earned his first win with the Pirates on May 4 in a 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Lifetime against the Reds, Thompson is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts. He made two starts against the Reds while with the Marlins last year.
On Aug 21, 2021, he allowed two runs in five innings but earned a no-decision in a 7-4 loss in Cincinnati. In Miami six days later, he was tagged for five runs — three earned — in five innings and took the loss in a 6-0 Reds win.
Before Friday’s game, right-hander Tyler Beede was added to Pittsburgh’s active roster. To make room, lefty Cam Alldred was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Beede, 28, was claimed off waivers from the Giants on Thursday. Beede, a 2014 first-round draft pick by San Francisco, will work out of the bullpen. Beede, who allowed five runs in 9 2/3 innings this season before the team designated him for assignment, owns a career 5.39 ERA in 135 1/3 innings over four seasons with the Giants.
“The stuff is there,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of Beede. “We feel our staff can help him.”
Alldred was optioned just a day after making his major league debut against the Reds in Thursday’s 4-0 loss. Alldred retired all three batters in a perfect sixth inning before allowing a leadoff single in the seventh.
–Field Level Media