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Harvey delivers worst performance since joining Reds rotation

Harvey allows four home runs after not giving up a home run in six previous starts

In his second-to-last start before the trade deadline, Matt Harvey delivered his worst performance since joining the Cincinnati Reds.

Harvey allowed eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park as the Reds tried to avoid a three-game sweep. He left the game after facing three batters in the fourth.

Six runs scored against Harvey on four home runs, the most Harvey has allowed in a game in his career. The Reds trailed 8-0 after the fourth.

» PITCHING UPDATE: Reds will use six-man rotation

The trade deadline is July 31, and Harvey is expected to be a popular name in trade talks.

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Despite this start, Harvey has pitched well for the Reds. In his last four starts, he was 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA. In his last five starts, he had allowed a total of six earned runs and no home runs. He had not allowed a home run since giving up three against the Cardinals on June 6.

Before the game, interim manager Jim Riggleman said Harvey was enjoying pitching in Cincinnati and not allowing trade talks to bother him.

“I think he likes it here,” Riggleman said. “His performance indicates he’s getting better and better. We hope he stays here. We’re fortunate to have him. It was a great acquisition for our front office to get him.”

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Riggleman hopes the Reds don’t trade Harvey and said he hasn’t seen any indication they will.

“As good as we’ve seen Matt, I think he’s just getting healthier and healthier,” Riggleman said. “You may even see a healthier guy next year.”

Harvey gave up a two-run home run to Gregory Polanco in the first, back-to-back home runs to Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte in the second and a solo home run to Sean Rodriguez in the fourth inning.

Harvey’s ERA jumped from 4.63 to 5.21. This was the first time he failed to last four innings in 13 starts with the Reds.

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