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Wednesday's scouting report: Reds at Pirates

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 7:12 p.m.
 

X-factors

Pirates beat reporterRob Biertempfel's inside look at Wednesday's game:

• Reds closer Aroldis Chapman reached 100 mph on 15 of his first 21 pitches after coming off the disabled list May 11. He missed the start of the season after being struck in the face by a line drive in spring training. Going into this series, Chapman had retired 38 of 41 batters, including 22 in a row from May 23 to June 11. He'd made 11 straight scoreless outings.

• The Reds are getting good production from their catchers. Devin Mesoraco, Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart are batting a combined .268. The trio ranks second at that position with 12 home runs and fourth with a .465 slugging percentage. Mesoraco, who turns 26 Thursday, has been on the DL twice this season (hamstring, oblique).

The Buzz

Online betting site Bovada.com lists Pirates OF Gregory Polanco as a 5-to-7 favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Other candidates are Diamondbacks SS Chris Owings (2 to 1), Reds OF Billy Hamilton (3 to 1) and Cardinals OF Oscar Tavares (20 to 1). AL frontrunners are Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (2 to 5) and White Sox 1B Jose Abreu (3 to 1).

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