The Pirates couldn't gain any ground on the first-place Cincinnati Reds despite a convincing 11-2 win over the Houston Astros Tuesday night, but they'll get another chance to grab a share of the NL Central lead on Tuesday (7:05).
A.J. Burnett will take the ball against Lucas Harrell, a minor-league veteran who's found a home in the Houston rotation this season despite a mediocre strikeout rate and underwhelming minor-league results. Harrell's last start was a complete-game shutout against the Padres, but the Pirates have won or tied every series they've played since being swept by the Orioles three weeks ago, and there's no reason they can't guarantee at least another series wtie Tuesday with Burnett, one of their better starters, on the hill.
The Reds, meanwhile, will be at Dodger Stadium, with All-Star snub Johnny Cueto taking on Chris Capuano (10:10). If the Pirates can win Tuesday night, many fans' eyes will turn to Los Angeles.
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