The surging Cincinnati Reds were cooled off during their last series.
Facing the struggling Houston Astros might help them get back on track.
The visiting Reds hope to bounce back from their first losing series in more than two weeks Friday night when they try to extend the Astros' longest skid of the season to seven games.
Cincinnati (28-22) had won eight of nine to move past St. Louis into first place in the NL Central before losing two of three at Pittsburgh. The Reds still maintain a 1 12-game lead in the division, but they are eager to turn things around.
"I think just being consistent can keep us right in the thick of things for the whole year," starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo told the Reds' official website.
The Reds' recorded 12 hits Tuesday in their lone victory at Pittsburgh - an 8-1 win - but combined for two runs and 10 hits in their losses to the Pirates.
"We still have holes in our roster," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who went 2 for 11 in the series.