The Kansas City Royals are sending a former Cincinnati Reds right-hander to the mound at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night, though it won’t be Johnny Cueto.
The Royals are 4-0 in interleague starts by Edinson Volquez, who will pitch as a visitor to Cincinnati for the second time in his career in the opener of a two-game set.
Kansas City (71-46) and Cincinnati (51-65) completed one of the most notable deals before the trade deadline when the Reds sent Cueto to the Royals on July 26 for pitchers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed. Cueto will not pitch in this series and neither will Lamb, who made his big-league debut Friday.
Reds fans will instead get a chance to see Volquez (11-7, 3.27 ERA), whose career with the club from 2008-11 was plagued by injuries and a suspension. His lone start in Cincinnati as a visitor came with San Diego on July 30, 2012, as he allowed five runs in five innings to gain credit for an 11-5 victory.
Volquez is 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA in four interleague outings this season. He went 0-2 with a 5.82 ERA in three 2014 starts versus the Reds with Pittsburgh.
Jay Bruce is 7 for 14 against him, while Joey Votto is 1 for 7 with four walks. Votto is 11 for 23 with two homers and seven RBIs over a six-game hitting streak.
Volquez turned in an odd outing Wednesday in a 7-4 loss to Detroit. He was charged with a season-high six runs in seven-plus innings, although he did retire 13 straight hitters in one stretch.
The Royals capped an 8-2 homestand with Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Kendrys Morales’ RBI single in the 10th inning. Morales was 5 for 15 in the four-game set.
"He’s really, really smart and he knows what he needs to do to try to get the job done," manager Ned Yost said.
Eric Hosmer is batting .367 with 11 RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak, while Lorenzo Cain’s eight-game run, in which he batted .455, ended Sunday as he went 0 for 5.
Yost said second baseman Omar Infante will return after being out of the lineup the last two games. He is hitless in 26 at-bats and batting just .216.
Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips is batting .418 during a 12-game hitting streak at home. His club begins a 10-game homestand after capping a 3-7 trip with a third straight defeat, 2-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
This will be Cincinnati’s 19th straight game with a rookie starter — which will match the longest such streak since St. Louis did it in September 1997.
Tuesday’s rookie is Raisel Iglesias (3-4, 4.70), who is 2-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five home starts. He earned his first road victory Wednesday by limiting San Diego to three runs in six innings in a 7-3 victory, retiring his final 16 hitters.
The Cuban right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts this month, limiting batters to a .156 average. He has never faced the Royals or their hitters.
The Royals outscored the Reds 10-1 in a two-game sweep May 19-20. They lead the series 11-8 and are visiting Cincinnati for the first time since 2010.