The Cincinnati Reds have not played well the last two weeks, but
taking two of three in St. Louis could give them the boost they
After rallying to even this weekend’s three-game set against
their division rival, the Reds try to win consecutive road games
over the Cardinals for the first time in almost five years Sunday
Plagued by a 2 hour and 10-minute rain delay Friday, Cincinnati
(11-10) fell 4-2 in the series opener. The Reds trailed by a run
Saturday when more rain halted play for 42 minutes, but they broke
out after the delay for three runs in the eighth inning en route to
a 5-3 win.
Former Cardinal Miguel Cairo hit a two-out, two-run, go-ahead
single off struggling St. Louis reliever Ryan Franklin to help snap
the Cardinals’ three-game winning streak. The Reds are now in
position to win back-to-back games at Busch Stadium for the first
since sweeping a three-game set June 5-7, 2006.
“Every win is a good win against St. Louis or against any team
in the National League,” said Cairo, who had two different stints
with the Cardinals. “You play the game to get a win.”
Cincinnati likely needs to build as much momentum as possible
with a key early divisional series at Milwaukee following this
Joey Votto added a two-run homer Saturday as the Reds improved
to 6-10 since a 5-0 start. Batting .392, the reigning NL MVP has
two homers and four RBIs in his last four games. He’s a lifetime
.328 hitter at Busch.
Votto and the Reds hope to continue Jake Westbrook’s struggles
when he takes the ball for the Cardinals (11-10) in the series
For the third time in his career and first since 2001, Westbrook
(1-2, 9.82 ERA) will pitch on three days’ rest. The right-hander
allowed seven runs in three innings of an 8-6 loss to Washington in
the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday. He threw 68
“I’m excited to get back out there again,” Westbrook told the
Cardinals’ official website. “Every time as a starter, good or bad,
you want to get back out there. You want to get back out there to
try to correct yourself and get another opportunity to get back on
Westbrook, who has 13 walks and just nine strikeouts in 18 1-3
innings this season, is 7-18 lifetime in April.
“It’s been frustrating,” he said. “It’s kind of something that I
need to figure out and do a better job on. I’m not going to give up
Westbrook is 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA in four starts versus
Teammate Albert Pujols has six of his seven homers in his last
nine games, including a solo shot Saturday. He also has 11 RBIs in
his last nine contests.
Veteran slugger Lance Berkman is 8 for 14 in his last four
games, raising his average to .368 in his first season with St.
Though right-hander Sam LeCure (0-1, 4.15) has been scheduled to
start Sunday for Cincinnati, manager Dusty Baker could decide
instead to go with Edinson Volquez, who wound up not starting after
Friday’s rain delay.
Volquez is 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts this season, and
1-1 with a 4.98 ERA in four lifetime versus St. Louis.
LeCure allowed three runs and walked four in 5 1-3 innings of a
4-1 loss in his only previous appearance against the Cardinals on
June 2. The right-hander gave up five runs and a career-high four
homers in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-4 defeat to Arizona on Tuesday.