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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 24th (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (26-22) at Cincinnati Reds (22-24), 7:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Jaime Garcia (0-0, 5.14) Cincinnati - Tony Cingrani (2-3, 3.76)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Cardinals will try to rebound from their recent loss when they continue a three-game series with the NL Central-rival Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
The Cardinals lost Friday's opener, 5-3, and couldn't dig out of a 3-0 hole early on. Shelby Miller got the start for the Cardinals, who had won each of his previous five starts, and he was touched for four runs in five innings to absorb the loss. Miller walked one and struck out five.
Allen Craig had two hits and two RBI, while Matt Carpenter went 2-for-4 with a run scored for St. Louis, which had a three-game winning streak stopped and was 7-1 in the previous eight games.
Craig scored on Jhonny Peralta's fielder's choice in the sixth inning to make it a 4-3 ballgame, but Cincinnati added an insurance run in the bottom half thanks to Devin Mesoraco's solo home run.
"We had them on the ropes a couple of times," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Those are times we're looking for that big hit to happen. It just didn't come."
St. Louis fell to 2 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first in the Central and will turn to Jaime Garcia Saturday. The left-hander will make his second start of the season and did not record a decision in Sunday's 6-5 loss to Atlanta, as he gave up four runs in seven innings.
Garcia struck out five and did not allow a walk. In 15 career meetings (13 starts) with the Reds, Garcia is 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA. He is aiming for the 40th win of his career (39-25).
The Reds have recorded two straight wins and three in the past four tries, and improved to 19-16 since opening the 2014 season with a 3-8 mark.
Todd Frazier clubbed a three-run homer in the third inning and Mesoraco gave Cincinnati some breathing room with his home run. Brayan Pena chipped in two hits and an RBI for the Reds, who sit three games behind St. Louis for second place in the NL Central.
"It was kind of like a playoff game," Frazier said. "I was really excited. We're playing against a big rival."
Frazier has nine homers on the season. Jay Bruce (knee surgery) was recently activated off the disabled list and hit a double.
"I worked hard to get back," Bruce said. "The medical staff is great. They helped me along the way. As professional athletes, we have the opportunity to come in and have a team full of people doing whatever they can to help you recover the quickest."
Taking the mound for the Reds Saturday will be lefty Tony Cingrani. Cingrani is 2-3 in seven starts with a 3.76 earned run average and lost his last time out in an 8-3 verdict at Philadelphia on Sunday. He served up seven hits, three of which were homers, and allowed four runs across six innings.
Cingrani, who is 1-2 in his last three decisions, has an 0-1 record in two starts against the Cardinals this season. He is 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA in five career games (4 starts) in this series.
The Reds are 1-9 in the last 10 series with the Cardinals and 3-4 in seven meetings this season.
05/24 10:41:54 ET
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