|Castillo, Gray lead Reds vs. Pirates in DH|
Luis Castillo will be looking to bounce back from his poorest outing of the season. Sonny Gray will be trying to pick up where he left off.
The fellow right-handers for the Cincinnati Reds will get their opportunities in a doubleheader on Monday against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
Castillo (5-1, 2.38 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener for the Reds, who won two of three at the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, including a 10-2 victory Sunday.
Castillo began his most-recent outing on Wednesday at the Milwaukee Brewers owning the fourth-lowest ERA in the majors at 1.90, but he didn't make it out of the third inning in the 11-9 loss. He allowed four runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
"You learn from the mistakes," Castillo told reporters afterward. "Even when you don't have your best stuff, you've got to go out and battle and help your team win."
Gray (1-4, 3.78 ERA) is scheduled to start the second game.
He's coming off one of his best outings of the season, throwing six shutout innings in a 3-0 win against the Brewers on Tuesday.
"It's taken a while to get here," Gray said. "Hopefully, this is something I can build on and I'm able to put a few good starts together."
Gray opened the season with back-to-back starts against the Pirates on March 31 and April 5.
He lost both, but pitched well enough to win the second game, holding Pittsburgh to one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Reds were unable to generate any offense in the 2-0 loss, however.
Gray is 0-3 in his career against the Pirates with a 5.19 ERA.
Castillo was the Opening Day starter against the visiting Pirates on March 28 and gave up one run and two hits in 5 2/3 innings, but he did not receive the decision in the Reds' 5-3 win.
Castillo has made six starts overall in his career against Pittsburgh and is 1-3 with a 3.58 ERA.
Mitch Keller is expected to make his major league debut in the second game for the Pirates, who have lost five of six after getting swept by the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.
Keller, the top pitching prospect in the Pittsburgh organization, was a second-round pick in 2014.
He was 5-0 with a 3.45 ERA with Triple-A Indianapolis this season. The right-hander has struck out 56 batters in 47 innings and walked 20.
The Pirates have become short on starters, as right-hander Jameson Taillon went on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow flexor tendon strain earlier this month and is not expected back until early June. Another starter, Trevor Williams, is sidelined with a strain on his right side and is also expected to be out the rest of this month.
Pittsburgh has already used 40 different players this season after using 48 all of last season.
Nick Kingham (1-1, 8-76 ERA) will start the first game for Pittsburgh. He has appeared in 11 games this season with two starts. He made 15 starts as a rookie for the Pirates last season and went 5-7 with a 5.21 ERA, including 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in four games (two starts) against Cincinnati.
Kingham's most recent start came on May 13 at the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he allowed seven runs and 10 hits in four innings of a 9-3 loss. He threw four innings of relief on Wednesday against the visiting Colorado Rockies and was again roughed up, this time for six runs and nine hits in another 9-3 loss.
"Overall, I still feel like I threw the ball better than what the scoreboard says," Kingham told reporters after his most recent outing.
--Field Level Media