Pittsburgh Pirates series takeaways vs Cincinnati Reds

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Aug 2, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Joakim Soria (38) is congratulated by catcher Francisco Cervelli (29) after the Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates did not play very well coming out of the All-Star Break, losing five of six games, but like all good teams they successfully rebounded to win five of their last six. The Pirates didn’t play their best series against the Twins, but they swept it and the offense exploded for 18 runs and 24 hits in the two games.

The Pirates then turned their attention to the Cincinnati Reds. It’s really easy to keep your focus when you’re playing two playoff contenders, but the Reds are a non-contending team and that always presents a challenge. The Reds are still a big league ball club and could not be overlooked. Were the Pirates able to successfully focus on the Reds and beat a team they should beat?

Next: Game One: A.J. Burnett vs. David Holmberg