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He said never pitching against the Royals does not change his preparation.
"It's the same between every start," Mahle said. "I prepare to go out there and hit my spots and compete. It's a new team, and I've never seen them play before, so I'm going to do my homework and kind of make a game plan out of it."
He said he pitches not to the Royals' weaknesses, but his strengths.
"You always play to your own strength," he said. "We're going to find out what their weaknesses are and kind of find something there in the middle. I throw a lot of fastballs, but if there's a guy who likes a lot of fastballs, it kind of collides there.
"But, at the same time, if you hit spots, good things are going to happen. Obviously if you throw it down the middle, he's going to hit it, but if you hit a corner, or something like that, always if you make your pitch, good things are going to happen."
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Good things happened to the Reds in the Tuesday victory. They trailed 1-0 entering the ninth, but Tucker Barnhart led off the inning with a blast off Kelvin Herrera that landed in the Royals' bullpen.
"That is against one of the best closers in the game, so that was huge," Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. "Both pitchers are pitching so good it's probably going to be a home-run type game. Nobody was putting a rally together. They got one and we got one, and our bullpen really did a great job."
Hammel (2-6, 5.12 ERA) is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in his last four starts after a 13-start winless streak in which he went 0-8 with a 7.28 ERA. He has issued two or fewer walks in 10 of his 13 starts this season.
Hammel is 0-3 with a 4.70 ERA in five home starts this year and is winless in his last seven Kauffman Stadium starts dating to Aug. 20.
He is 4-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 12 career outings (11 starts) against the Reds. He has won his last four starts against Cincinnati with a 0.75 ERA, but has not faced the Reds since 2016.