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Game Thread: Archer aims for the sweep

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Archer, who threw five scoreless innings for a no-decision in Monday’s Home Opener loss to the Cardinals, will make his second start of the year as the Pirates attempt to sweep a four-game series from the visiting Cincinnati Reds. It will be Archer’s first career appearance against them.

The Pirates took both Thursday and Friday night’s games by identical 2-0 scores, then cashed in an exciting 6-5 walk-off win in ten innings on Saturday afternoon, leaving them in second place in the National League Central, behind the Milwaukee Brewers, in the young season.

Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani will make his second start of the season for the Reds, having a very similar line to Archer’s in his first, allowing one run on three hits, three walks and eight strikeouts in five innings. DeSclafani made 21 starts for the Reds last year, compiling a 4.93 ERA. In five previous seasons in the majors, he has a 4.20 ERA over 78 starts, with 2.4 walks and 7.8 strikeouts every nine innings.

DeSclafani’s fastball has ticked up in velocity each year, reaching an average of 93.5 mph in 2018. He is fastball heavy, throwing his four-seam 38% and two-seam 27% of the time, with a slider 30% and changeup 5% Last year he was crushed by left-handed batters, who had a cumulative .917 OPS on a 288/372/575 batting line, compared to a .676 OPS, 247/286/390 by right-handers. It’s little better for his career, with a .835 OPS by lefties and .662 by righties. With Adam Frazier returning to second base and rookie Jason Martin making another start in left, DeSclafani will face four left-handers in the lineup, as well as switch-hitters Josh Bell and Melky Cabrera.

Joey Votto is out of the lineup for the Reds, replaced at first base by Derek Dietrich.



1 L Jessie Winker LF

2 R Yasiel Puig RF

3 L Scott Schebler CF

4 R Eugenio Suarez 3B

5 L Derek Dietrich

6 R Jose Peraza 2B

7 L Tucker Barnhart C

8 R Jose Iglesias SS

9 R Anthony DeSclafani RHP



1 L Adam Frazier 2B

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 R Francisco Cervelli C

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 R Jung-ho Kang 3B

6 S Melky Cabrera RF

7 L Jason Martin LF

8 R Erik Gonzalez SS

9 R Chris Archer RHP