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W:D.Fister(1-1) L:J.Cueto(4-3)
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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, May 20th (All times Eastern)

Cincinnati Reds (20-23) at Washington Nationals (23-21), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Johnny Cueto (4-2, 1.25) Washington - Doug Fister (0-1, 4.76)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds turn to the dominating Johnny Cueto on Tuesday night when they go for a quick series victory over the Washington Nationals in the second contest of a three-game set.

Cueto has been on a roll to begin the season, going 4-2 in nine starts with a Major League-best 1.25 earned run average. He has struck out 76 batters over 72 innings and has tossed at least eight innings in each of his last six outings.

In fact, the right-hander has gone at least seven innings and allowed two runs or fewer in all nine of his starts this season, the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since Harry Krause of the Philadelphia Athletics did so in 10 straight outings in 1909.

Cueto threw his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career on Thursday as he scattered three hits to beat the San Diego Padres. He walked two and fanned eight as well.

"I think there have been games where he's been sharper, but he just kept making pitches," Reds manager Bryan Price said on his team's website. "I don't know what else I can say about Johnny."

The 28-year-old is 5-2 lifetime versus the Nationals with a 3.99 ERA.

Doug Fister will make his third start of the season and first at home for the Nats, who acquired the right-hander in the offseason.

Fister opened the campaign on the disabled list and struggled in his debut on May 9, allowing seven runs -- five earned -- over 4 1/3 innings while getting tagged for three homers.

The 30-year-old was much sharper in a no-decision versus Arizona on Wednesday, giving up a run on a solo homer in seven innings of work while recording six strikeouts.

Fister will face the Reds for the first time hoping to even this series after Cincinnati claimed a 4-3 victory in 15 innings on Monday.

Washington extended the game when Danny Espinosa doubled off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth and later scored on Scott Hairston's sacrifice fly.

The Nationals, though, were robbed of potential game-winning hits in the 12th and 14th frames on diving catches by Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton, and Todd Frazier put the Reds ahead with a two-run homer in the 15th inning off Ross Detwiler.

"He threw a pitch in there, the guy got a homer. It happens," said Nationals manager Matt Williams. "The change-up stayed up."

Logan Ondrusek pitched the last two innings for the Reds, who snapped a two- game losing streak despite Ondrusek giving up a run in the bottom of the 15th.

"Every player on the team played some sort of role in that game," Price said. "The defense was phenomenal."

The Nationals have won six of their last nine at home versus the Reds.

05/20 10:27:01 ET