CARDINALS (63-55) AT REDS (56-63)
7:10 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-M, MLB.TV
The Cincinnati Reds were making their presence known with 10 wins in a 14-game stretch before punctuating a four-game skid with a lopsided loss in their latest outing.
The Reds look to pick themselves up Thursday when they begin a seven-game homestand with the opener a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I know the last four games are what we’re dealing with now,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said on the heels of a 17-7 shellacking by the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
“How do we turn that around? That’s the focus now. Outside of those four games, I feel like it’s really in a lot of ways the best baseball that we’ve played all year. A lot of good things were happening. We just have to get that turned around.”
The obvious positive is rookie Aristides Aquino, who belted his ninth homer in 13 games this season, a seventh-inning blast on Wednesday.
“Just keep going, keep going,” Bell said of the 25-year-old right fielder, who has hit safely in 10 of his past 11 games.
Freddy Galvis, acquired off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, also went deep Wednesday and finished 4-for-5 in his first start with the Reds. It was the sixth time in his career he had at least four hits in a game.
“Personally, I had a good game,” Galvis said, “but I prefer to win the game.”
Cincinnati’s Joey Votto reached base eight times (five hits, three walks) in the series and carries a six-game hitting streak into the series opener against St. Louis’ Michael Wacha (6-5, 5.54 ERA). He is 14-for-41 with seven extra-base hits lifetime vs. Wacha.
The Cardinals right-hander aims to atone for an atrocious performance in his latest outing. Wacha was throttled for six runs on seven hits — including two homers — in 3 2/3 innings of an 8-0 setback at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 5.
The 28-year-old has won seven straight decisions at Great American Ball Park, including a 1 2/3-scoreless-inning stint on July 19.
Right-hander Sonny Gray (7-6, 3.10 ERA) provides the opposition after scattering two hits over six innings on Saturday in a 10-1 victory against the Chicago Cubs.
Gray, however, sustained the loss in his lone career meeting with St. Louis despite yielding only two runs on three hits in five innings of a 5-2 setback on April 28.
The 29-year-old would be wise to keep an eye on Paul DeJong, who belted a solo shot on Wednesday as St. Louis recorded its fifth straight win, a 6-0 decision at Kansas City.
The blast made DeJong the first shortstop in franchise history to post multiple 20-homer seasons. He had 25 during his rookie campaign in 2017.
“To be able to play shortstop at a high level and hit like I know I can means a lot, especially for this storied organization,” DeJong said.
DeJong, 26, has gone deep three times and driven in 10 RBIs in 11 game versus the Reds this year.
Matt Carpenter, who sparked a five-run seventh inning with an RBI single on Wednesday, is 7-for-20 (.350) against Cincinnati this season.
The Cardinals, who are a percentage point in front of the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central, have won seven of the 11 meetings thus far versus the Reds.
–Field Level Media