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Game Thread: Sean Rod looks to lead the Pirates again on their roll through Ohio

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a three-for-four return from the disabled list that included a three-run homer, Sean Rodriguez leads the red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates into game two of their series in Cincinnati.

Winners of eight of their last nine games, the Pirates are again at .500 with a 49-49 record. They’ll send rookie right-hander Nick Kingham (4-4, 4.26) to the mound to make his tenth major league start. Kingham has made ten additional minor league starts, good for a 4-2 record and a 2.65 ERA.

He’ll be opposed by Concinnati’s 28 year old right-hander Anthony DeSclafani. Drafted out of the University of Florida by Blue Jays in the sixth round of 2011. A year later he went to the Marlins in the eleven player trade that featured the swap of Yunel Escobar for Jose Reyes, where he made his major league debut in 2014. After that season DeSclafani was swapped to the Reds as part of a package for Mat Latos. He made 20 starts for the Reds in 2016 with a fine 3.28 ERA, but missed virtually all of 2017 with a UCL injury. This year had him start the season on the 60 day disabled list with a let oblique strain.

Since returning, DeSclafani’s made eight starts with a 5.32 ERA, along with 2.7 walks and 7.2 strikeouts per 9 innings. He currently has the best fastball velocity of his career at 93.1 mph. He throws the four-seamer 39% of the time, two-seamer 27%, slider 29% and changeup 5%. In his career, he’s allowed a 674 OPS to right-handed batters on a 258/303/370 line, while he’s much more vulnerable to the long ball from left-handers, with a 817 OPS (280/335/482).

After banging out 12 runs on 16 hits and three homers Friday night, the Clint Hurdle rolls out the same lineup for the Pirates.

Joey Votto returns to first base for the Reds.

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PIRATES

1 L Corey Dickerson LF

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 L Gregory Polanco RF

4 R Elias Diaz C

5 L Colin Moran 3B

6 S Josh Bell 1B

7 R Sean Rodriguez 2B

8 R Jordy Mercer SS

9 R Nick Kingham RHP

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REDS

1 R Jose Peraza SS

2 L Scooter Gennett 2B

3 L Joey Votto 1B

4 R Eugenio Suarez 3B

5 L Jessie Winker RF

6 R Adam Duvall LF

7 R Curt Casali C

8 R Anthony DeSclafani RHP

9 S Billy Hamilton CF