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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, May 4th (All times Eastern)

Cincinnati Reds (16-14) at Chicago Cubs (11-18), 1:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Tony Cingrani (2-0, 1.50) Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.35)

(Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Reds aim to continue a couple of streaks this afternoon when resume a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs.

Tony Cingrani has yet to lose in six major league appearances, including three starts this season. The 23-year-old left-hander will be on the mound when the Reds try to win their eighth straight game at Wrigley Field.

Cingrani, who was called up April 18 to replace an injured Johnny Cueto, threw six shutout innings at Washington April 28 in a 5-2 win. He gave up only two hits and had 11 strikeouts.

Cincinnati ran its surge to seven consecutive wins at the historic ballpark by holding on for a 6-5 win Friday. Jay Bruce hit a two-run double and Zack Cozart had an eighth-inning RBI single that proved to be the difference. Joey Votto had two hits and scored twice and Shin-Soo Choo and Todd Frazier each added an RBI for the Reds, who improved to 4-10 on the road.

Starter Mike Leake (2-1) lasted 5 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on nine hits and struck out three.

"I don't think it will last long," Leake said about his team's early-season struggles on the road. "It's just a matter of time before we get a little streak going."

Welington Castillo drove in two as part of a three-run ninth inning rally for the Cubs, who have dropped three of four. Carlos Villanueva (1-2) absorbed the loss after yielding four runs on seven hits while striking out four over 5 2/3 innings.

"We didn't do much in the first eight innings," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We left some guys out there again."

The Cubs left 12 men on base.

Chicago's Jeff Samardzija tries to snap a personal four-game skid over a five- start span this afternoon. The righty didn't get a decision in a five-inning performance against San Diego on Monday when he limited the Padres to four hits and three runs.

Samardzija finished April with 47 strikeouts, the second-highest total in team history. But his only victory thus far came in his first start, on Opening Day, April 1 at Pittsburgh when he tossed eight shutout frames.

In 17 appearances, including three starts, Samardzija is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA against the Reds. That includes a 1-0 loss at Great American Ball Park on April 24.

The Reds won two of three in a series in April and 12 of 16 games between the teams in 2012.

A positive result today would give the Reds their first road series victory of the year.

05/04 10:33:29 ET