video thumbnail

HOU@PIT: Correia goes six solid frames for 10th win

Still vying for a Wild Card spot, every game matters for the Pirates, but Tuesday's game means a little more for starter Kevin Correia.

Correia, who is filling in for an injured Jeff Karstens, could help his case to stay in the rotation with a strong outing against the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, trying to even the series at one.

Karstens, who is dealing with a strained hip flexor, is scheduled to pitch a simulated game on Tuesday as well, and could be back the next time his spot comes up in the rotation, so a solid outing by Correia could help his case.

Correia is coming off a win against Houston on Wednesday, when he allowed a run over six innings on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. A win of any kind, whether it be big or small, is welcome to Pittsburgh, which extended its road losing streak to seven straight games after falling, 4-3 in 14 innings, on Monday.

"We have to get back to our foundation and do the little things the right way," outfielder Andrew McCutchen said. "If we get our focus back to that, we'll be in a better position than we are now. You've got to do the small things to beat a team like Cincinnati."

The importance of Tuesday's game isn't lost on the Reds either. They beat the Pirates after dropping two of three to the Astros in their previous series. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker expects another tough matchup against the Bucs.

"No matter where the Pirates are, they're going to play us tough," Baker said. "It's going to be a playoff atmosphere. They're trying to knock us down and we're trying to beat them. They're trying to stay in the playoff race, and they're deep in it. I think it's going to be a heck of a series."

Despite the Reds' lead in the National League Central, Baker also believes his team still hasn't reached its full potential.

"We haven't played our very best baseball yet, clicking on all cylinders," Baker said. "I have a feeling that down the stretch here, we're going to get better and better."

Mike Leake will be taking the mound for Cincinnati, looking to turn things around for his team and himself personally. He's coming off a loss to the Phillies on Wednesday, when he gave up six runs on six hits -- including two homers -- a walk and a strikeout over 2 1/3 innings.

Before that loss, Leake had allowed just two runs and pitched at least six innings in his previous two starts.

Pirates: Three players called up from Indianapolis
Pittsburgh promoted a trio of players from Triple-A Indianapolis prior to Monday's game at Cincinnati.

Infielder Chase d'Arnaud and righties Bryan Morris and Rick van den Hurk all made the 360-mile trek to Great American Ball Park. But while d'Arnaud and Morris have both spent time with the Pirates in the past, van den Hurk made his first appearance after a long year of uncertainty.

The 27-year-old was released by the Orioles on Feb. 3 before being signed and waived by the Blue Jays and claimed and released by the Indians. He finally landed with the Bucs, who kept him with Indianapolis until Monday.

d'Arnaud was the first to see time Monday, subbing in as a pinch-runner and later going 0-for-2 at the plate. Van den Hurk, meanwhile, picked up the loss after allowing the game-winning run on a ball d'Arnaud couldn't field with runners at second and third.

Reds: Rolen takes batting practice
Cincinnati third baseman Scott Rolen took batting practice Monday, and Baker is hoping the 37-year-old could return to the lineup soon after being out since Sept. 4. He grounded into a forceout as a pinch-hitter in Monday's game.

Rolen, who is battling two disc protrusions in his lower back, was hitting .244 with six homers and 33 RBIs on the season but .314 in the second half.

While Baker believes Todd Frazier and others have filled in well for Rolen, they still miss the glove and leadership aspects the veteran brings.

"Most teams, especially most good teams, have a leader," Baker said. "Leaders are not appointed by anybody, they're just sort of anointed by the players on the team on how they gravitate towards him, how they go to him for advice. They emulate how he plays, how he goes about his business as a professional."

Worth noting
• The Bucs designated righty Evan Meek for assignment on Monday.

• Reds reliever Nick Masset, who has been out all season with a torn capsule in his right shoulder, had arthroscopic surgery and hopes to be ready for the 2013 season. Comments