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Bucs open final series with Reds at PNC

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Pirates begin their final series of the 2019 season, hosting National League Central rival Cincinnati at 7:05 p.m. at PNC Park in the first game of a three-game set.

Steven Brault, whose once-promising season has taken a turn for the worse in September, will make his last start of the season against Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (9-9, 3.84 ERA).

The Bucs are coming off a three-game sweep of the Cubs while the Reds have lost five of six, including three straight to surging Milwaukee earlier in the week.

Brault enters play with a record of 4-6 and a 5.07 ERA that has been juiced by a recent three-game stretch that has seen him touched for a 12.83 ERA.

Brault yielded five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in a Sept. 7 start against the Cardinals, and then was torched for 10 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Cubs six days later.

He followed that with another subpar outing one week ago, giving up four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to Milwaukee. In those last three starts, the Pirates have been outscored 37-10.

Prior to his recent slide, Brault had looked to be the Bucs’ best starter, putting together a 2.84 ERA over a 13-game run.

REDS

1. R Jose Peraza 2B

2. R Phillip Ervin LF

3. R Eugenio Suarez 3B

4. R Aristedes Aquino RF

5. R Jose Iglesias SS

6. R Curt Casali C

7. R Michael Lorenzen CF

8. R Anthony DeSclafani P

9. R Alex Blandino 1B

PIRATES

1. R Kevin Newman SS

2. R Pablo Reyes CF

3. L Adam Frazier 2B

4. R Jose Osuna 1B

5. L Kevin Kramer RB

6. R Jacob Stallings C

7. R Jake Elmore LF

8. R Erik Gonzalez 3B

9. L Steven Brault P