National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, August 19th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Cubs (47-72) at Cincinnati Reds (73-48), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.96)
Cincinnati - Mat Latos (10-3, 3.63)
(Sports Network) - Coming off a split of a doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs,
the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds target a series triumph this afternoon
in the finale of a four-game set from Great American Ball Park.
The Reds won the opener of the day/night twinbill by a 5-3 score, but dropped
a 9-7 decision in the nightcap. Johnny Cueto won his major league-leading 16th
game of the season early on by striking out eight and walking nine in eight
innings. He allowed two runs and allowed just three hits.
"Johnny settled down. In the past, Johnny might have been bothered by the
first-inning homer," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "He settled down and acted
like it was no big deal."
Cueto retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced and is tied with Tampa Bay's
David price for the league lead in wins.
Todd Frazier, Xavier Paul and Miguel Cairo all homered in that one for the
Todd Redmond made his major league debut for Cincinnati in the second game and
was drilled for four runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Ryan Ludwick
homered twice for the Reds, who are 6 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh for the
division lead and had won seven of eight games.
"It was a big game, Ryan's feeling it, he's swinging, he wants it," Baker said
Cincinnati will visit Philadelphia for four games after this set.
The Reds hope Mat Latos can keep his unbeaten streak intact when he toes the
rubber Sunday afternoon. Latos is 3-0 with a 1.31 earned run average in his
last five starts and hasn't recorded a decision in consecutive trips to the
mound. In a 3-0 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday. Latos fired seven
scoreless innings to remain at 10-3 in 24 starts with a 3.63 ERA.
Latos, a right-hander, has allowed only one run over his past three trips to
the hill and also has pitched well at home, going 6-2 in 13 tries. He is 2-2
with a 3.47 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.
Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija suffered the loss in the first game and allowed
four runs in five innings. Alfonso Soriano homered and became the 274th player
in league history to record 1,000 RBI.
"I feel great," Soriano said. "I'm so proud to get 1,000 RBI. Most of my
career I batted leadoff, so to have 1,000 RBI that's a lot. I'm very proud of
Brett Jackson and David DeJesus each hit a home run in the nightcap, while
Brooks Raley recorded the win even though he allowed four runs -- three earned
-- in 5 1/3 innings. Carlos Marmol fanned two batters in the ninth for his
Starlin Castro had three hits, two RBI and a run scored for the Cubs, winners
in just four of their last 18 tries.
"He came up huge again. We found a slot for him at cleanup...he cuts and
slashes," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Castro.
Chris Volstad's first season with the Cubs hasn't gone quite as planned. He is
0-9 with a 6.96 earned run average in 12 starts and hopes to crack the win
column today against the Reds.
Volstad, who hasn't prevailed since last July 10 versus Houston as a member of
the Marlins, took the loss in a 10-1 defeat against the Astros on Tuesday and
allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. The right-hander is 0-1 in
two starts against Cincinnati this season and 1-3 with a 5.16 ERA in five
career starts in this series.
The Reds, who won Friday's opener by a 7-3 score, are 8-4 versus Chicago this
08/19 10:30:52 ET