(AP) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates got the best of the Cincinnati Reds in last year's wild-card game, but it's Cincinnati rolling into Monday night's opener of a four-game set in Pittsburgh while the floundering Pirates are searching for answers.
After suffering an 8-7 loss last Monday at home against Pittsburgh, the Reds (8-10) took the next two and have won four of five, matching their win total from their first 13 games. Cincinnati's starters have posted a 0.98 ERA in the last four victories after Homer Bailey tossed six scoreless innings in Sunday's 8-2 win over the Cubs.
A number of Reds hitters are enjoying good stretches, with Joey Votto hitting .368 with 10 runs in his last 11 games after going 6 for 25 through his first seven contests. He has reached base in 17 of his last 18 against Pittsburgh and was 6 for 10 in last week's series with two homers - including one off Francisco Liriano, who will start Monday.