Pirates' left-hander Jeff Locke is no stranger to facing the Reds, whereas Tim Melville is a stranger to everyone in the Major Leagues. The pair will square off Sunday in the series finale between the two National League Central rivals at Great American Ball Park.
Melville will become the second Reds rookie to make his Major League debut in the opening week of the season and the 11th rookie pitcher to make a start for them in the last two seasons. Locke, who has been working on a revamped delivery since January, will make his 12th career start against Cincinnati. Only three times in those previous 11 games has he been charged with more than two earned runs. He is 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA covering 57 innings overall against the Reds.
Three things to know • This will be the second of four consecutive day games for the Pirates. They were 32-15 before nightfall last season. After leaving Cincinnati, the Pirates will play at Detroit on Monday and Tuesday. Both games are scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET.
• Four batters were hit by pitches in Friday night's opener -- three for the Pirates and one for the Reds -- but none on Saturday. That's a rarity in this rivalry. Over the past four seasons, Pittsburgh pitchers have hit Reds batters 37 times, while Cincinnati pitchers have hit 36 Pirates batters. Those are the top two totals in the Majors against any one opponent.
• The Reds' bullpen has thrown 17 1/3 innings in the club's first five games.