After hitting plenty of homers on a homestand, the Cincinnati Reds could find it difficult to go deep against a pitcher who has been keeping the ball in the stadium of late.
Pittsburgh Pirates starter James McDonald hasn't allowed a homer over his last 33 2-3 innings heading into Monday's opener of a three-game set against the first-place Reds.
Cincinnati (27-20) has won eight of nine, completing a 6-1 homestand in which it homered 17 times with Sunday's 7-5 victory over Colorado. Four Reds homered Sunday in a game that featured a record nine longballs at Great American Ball Park.
"The ball was flying out today," manager Dusty Baker told the Reds' official website. "That's too many home runs for them. I'll take all of ours."
McDonald (3-2, 2.51 ERA), however, figures to be stingy since he has yielded one run in five of his last seven outings. That includes a May 5 effort in which he limited the Reds to one run over 6 1-3 innings while striking out seven to earn a 3-2 victory, improving to 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA in four career home starts against them.
McDonald has struck out at least seven in six straight starts to tie Bob Veale's 1965 club record.
Several key Reds hitters have good numbers against the right-hander, with Brandon Phillips 6 for 15, Jay Bruce 5 for 13 with a homer and Joey Votto 6 for 19 with one home run.
Several Pirates could face a challenge Monday against Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 3.22). McCutchen is 1 for 16 against him, Rod Barajas is 0 for 11 and Jones is 4 for 16.