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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, April 22nd (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (5-12) at Cincinnati Reds (11-8), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Travis Wood (1-1, 1.83) Cincinnati - Mike Leake (1-0, 4.26)

(Sports Network) - Lefty Travis Wood faces his former Cincinnati teammates for the third time on Monday night when the Chicago Cubs visit Great American Ball Park to begin a three-game series with the Reds.

Wood, a second-round pick in 2005, appeared in 39 games for the Reds through the end of the 2011 season before he was dealt to Chicago for lefty reliever Sean Marshall.

He was 6-13 in his initial season with the Cubs while posting a 4.27 ERA in 26 starts.

Two of those games were against the Reds and Wood was 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 innings.

In 2013, he's pitched at least six innings in each of three starts and has allowed just four earned runs in 19 2/3 innings while winning once, losing once and getting a no-decision.

Wood is 3-7 in 16 career games at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds counter with righty Mike Leake, a first-round pick in 2009 who won a career-high 12 games in 2011.

Leake slumped to 8-9 in 30 starts last season while watching his ERA balloon from 3.86 to 4.58 and his opposition batting average rise from .250 to .286.

He's pitched six innings or more in all three starts this year as well, winning his last one after tossing seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball -- with no walks and seven strikeouts -- against Philadelphia.

Leake is 4-2 in 10 lifetime starts against the Cubs.

On Sunday in Milwaukee, Ryan Braun crushed a three-run homer prior to his eighth-inning ejection and the Brewers finished off a three-game sweep of the Cubs with a 4-2 victory on Sunday at Miller Park.

Chicago has dropped 17 of its last 22 meetings with the Brewers, and was again plagued by poor defense. The Cubs committed two more errors on Sunday to give them 17 on the season.

Starter Scott Feldman (0-3), who committed one of the errors, had six strikeouts and was charged with four runs -- one earned -- on three hits over five frames. Starlin Castro scored a run for Chicago and had a single to extend his hitting streak to a major league-best 13 games.

In Cincinnati, Todd Frazier's three-run double highlighted an eight-run seventh inning that propelled the Reds to a 10-6 win over the Miami Marlins in the finale of a four-game set.

The outburst broke up what had been a close game.

The first six Cincinnati batters reached base in the fateful frame, with Brandon Phillips' RBI single off Jon Rauch snapping a 2-2 tie. A second runner came home when right fielder Giancarlo Stanton bobbled the ball.

Rauch had replaced Alex Sanabia (2-2) after the Reds loaded the bases against the starting pitcher.

After Jay Bruce worked a walk to reload the bases, Devin Mesoraco singled home Joey Votto, who had opened the scoring with a two-out, solo homer in the first inning.

Frazier later cleared the bases with his two-out liner off the top of the right-field wall. Shin-Soo Choo and Xavier Paul followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to cap the barrage.

The Reds won for the sixth time in their last seven games.

Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey struck out eight and walked three over six innings. He gave up seven hits, including a pair of RBI singles by Chris Valaika.

"That's what we expect out of these guys," Mesoraco said. "They showed last year that they'll put up quality starts, bullpen will come in and do its job."

The Reds have won 12, 11 and 12 games against the Cubs in each of the last three seasons. Chicago last won the series in 2009, when it took 10 of 15 games.

04/22 10:48:12 ET