Huntington has been pleased with what he's seen from the team during this weekend's series at Great American Ball Park despite losses in the first two games of the series.
The Pirates have received solid starting pitching and some timely hitting during consecutive late-inning rallies.
"We've battled back against some playoff-caliber teams," Huntington said. "It's a great sign. We're continuing to fight and compete. Cincinnati is fighting for its playoff lives. It's a test for our young players."
Huntington is most encouraged by the performance of the youngsters on the Pirates' active roster.
"What's exciting is that it's [Andrew] McCutchen, it's [Jose] Tabata, it's [Neil] Walker," he said. "It's guys who are going to be important pieces for us going forward."
Still, the next step is winning. The Pirates have just three road victories since July 27.
"At the same time, we have to play the game the right way," Huntington said. "We've got to have the foundation in fundamentals. As always, we'll look at various places where we can upgrade. We have to be smart about how we use our resources. We can't just throw [millions of dollars] at somebody just to make ourselves feel good."