National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, July 31
(All times Eastern)
Cincinnati Reds (53-54) at Miami Marlins (53-54), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Johnny Cueto (11-6, 2.08)
Miami - Tom Koehler (7-7, 3.91)
(SportsNetwork.com) - If you're looking to start another win streak these
days, the Cincinnati Reds make the perfect guests.
The free-falling Reds will head to Miami's Marlins Park on Thursday night to
begin a four-game series with a home team that had won six in a row and nine
of 10 before a Wednesday loss.
The six-game skein was the longest in more than two years for Miami, which
could have moved it above .500 for the first time in more than a month.
Thursday's game also coincides with the non-waiver trade deadline, which could
bring retooling for a South Florida stretch run.
"Ten days ago people may have thought we were sellers, and they were coming at
us one way. Now it's completely 180," president of baseball operations Mike
Hill said. "We're going to do our best to try to upgrade, but we're not going
to be foolish. We're not going to be shortsighted."
Cincinnati, meanwhile, has lost 10 of 12 since the All-Star break and had
scored three or fewer runs in 11 straight games before scoring four in a
The Reds have hit .189 as a team since the break, with starters Joey Votto and
Brandon Phillips gone due to injury. Jay Bruce is also absent until at least
Friday after being placed on the bereavement list. He was hitting .215 for the
season and in a 3-for-36 funk when shelved.
"A lot of guys are struggling right now," pitcher Alfredo Simon said.
Getting the start for the Reds is staff ace Johnny Cueto, who threw seven
scoreless innings and struck out nine batters in a 1-0 defeat of Washington on
Saturday. He's won three straight decisions and remains among league-leaders
in wins, strikeouts and earned run average.
"He has confidence in himself and believes in what he does. He always gives us
a chance to be in the game," catcher Brayan Pena said.
In five meetings with the Marlins, Cueto is 2-1 with a 5.27 ERA. The last
meeting came in September 2012 and ended in a 6-4 Reds loss in Miami.
Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler starts for the first time against Cincinnati
and for the first time on home turf since July 3.
He's 1-0 with a 3.50 ERA in his last three starts, and 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in
his last two in Miami. He surrendered three runs in five innings on Saturday
to beat Houston, 7-3.
The Reds have won four straight games in Miami.
On Wednesday in Cincinnati, Paul Goldschmidt and Didi Gregorius hit two-run
homers, boosting the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-4 win over the Reds.
Cincinnati's Simon (12-6) was charged with two runs on six hits over seven
innings of work, as he fell to 0-3 since the All-Star break with the loss.
In Miami, Ian Desmond's two-run double in the eighth inning was the
difference, as Washington claimed a 4-3 victory and put an end to the Marlins'
six-game win streak in the finale of a three-game series.
Drew Storen eventually claimed his first save of the season, but not before
allowing a solo homer to Giancarlo Stanton and an RBI double from Adeiny
Hechavarria. Jordany Valdespin hit a solo homer for the Marlins.
Brad Hand (2-3) was charged with five hits and three runs over seven-plus
frames in defeat.
Cincinnati won six of its seven meetings with the Marlins last season.
07/31 10:32:13 ET
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