The Reds are back at Wrigley Field, where they have enjoyed plenty of success recently.
By ASSOCIATED PRESSFS Ohio
Joey Votto and the
Cincinnati Reds have fallen on hard times lately, though that certainly hasn't been the case at Wrigley Field.
The perennial All-Star looks to continue his tear at the Friendly Confines on Monday night when the Reds try to extend their franchise-best winning streak on the
Chicago Cubs' home field.
Cincinnati (37-26) will try to get back on track after missing out on a chance to make up ground in the NL Central, falling 11-4 in 10 innings to first-place St. Louis on Sunday.
Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo each had two hits and went 5 for 11 in the three-game series, but it wasn't enough to keep the Reds - who have lost five of seven - from falling four games behind the Cardinals.
"It's hard not to be disappointed," said manager Dusty Baker, whose team had a two-run lead heading into the seventh. "You have a game that you lead in the late innings, you've got to find a way to hold that."
The Reds, however, appear to have a good chance to regroup against Baker's former club. They've won 16 of 19 versus the Cubs (25-35), including seven of nine this season.
Cincinnati is also looking to extend a team-record nine-game winning streak at Wrigley Field after sweeping a three-game series there May 3-5.
Votto, who went 7 for 12 with three doubles in that sweep, had gone 4 for 31 (.129) with no homers and one RBI over an eight-game span overall before going 3 for 7 in his last two.
He should be feeling confident heading back to Chicago since he's 13 for 23 with six RBIs and seven doubles during a seven-game hitting streak at Wrigley.
Although Votto hasn't homered in his last 10 games, he went deep off scheduled Chicago starter Scott Feldman (5-4, 2.84 ERA) in a 7-4 win in Cincinnati on May 24.
Feldman gave up five runs over 5 1-3 innings in that outing - his first career start against the Reds. It's the right-hander's only loss over his last eight starts, going 5-1 with a 2.39 ERA during that stretch.
Although he didn't get a decision in his last start, Feldman allowed two runs over six-plus innings in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.
"He's kind of changed his approach over the years," said Jered Weaver, who opposed Feldman in that contest. "He was a hard thrower and a mid-90s (mph) guy, and now he's mixing in that split-finger and that cutter a lot. So he's kind of developed into a great pitcher and he's obviously proven that this year."
The Reds counter with Homer Bailey (3-4, 3.84), who looks to beat Chicago for the second time this season.
Bailey is 1-4 with a 5.11 ERA on the road this season, but he's 3-1 with a 3.20 ERA in four career starts at Wrigley.
The right-hander gave up two runs with eight strikeouts over six innings in a 5-2 home win over the Cubs on May 25.
Anthony Rizzo had two of the Cubs' five hits off Bailey in that contest and went 5 for 12 in the series, though he's 4 for 22 over his last seven games overall.
The Cubs, who have hit .205 while losing five of seven, salvaged the finale of their three-game series against Pittsburgh with Sunday's 4-1 victory.
Catcher Dioner Navarro went 2 for 2 in the win, and is 8 for 13 with three homers and seven RBIs over his last five games.