The Cincinnati Reds broke out of their offensive woes in a big
way as they get ready to see a familiar face.
The NL Central leaders will face Travis Wood for the first time
Saturday when they continue a four-game set against the Chicago
Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Cincinnati (67-46) totaled 11 runs during a season-high,
five-game losing streak before winning 10-8 on Friday to even this
series at a game apiece. Todd Frazier had three hits and four RBIs
while Ryan Ludwick homered among his three hits and scored four
There’s a good chance the Reds can turn in another big day at
the plate against Wood (4-8, 4.77 ERA), traded to the Cubs (44-67)
in the offseason deal which sent reliever Sean Marshall to
Wood went 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA in 39 games – 35 starts – with
the Reds over the previous two years.
The left-hander has an 8.78 ERA in losing his last five starts,
although he has given up two runs in each of the last two. Wood
lasted six innings Monday in a 2-0 loss at San Diego, marking the
third time in this slide he has received no runs of support.
The only Cincinnati hitters he has faced are Ludwick, who is 2
for 6 against him, and Wilson Valdez, who is 0 for 3. Ludwick is
hitting .391 with five homers and 17 RBIs over the last 13
Reds manager Dusty Baker has indicated he will rest
lefty-swinging Jay Bruce for the second straight game, with the
southpaw Wood on the mound. Bruce is 1 for 16 with seven strikeouts
over his past four games.
“He’s just not swinging well,” Baker told the Reds’ official
website. “He’s feeling for the ball. He’s not attacking. It looks
like he’s messed up right now.”
Third baseman Scott Rolen has missed three straight games with
back soreness. Rolen, who remains day to day, is hitting .358 since
the All-Star break.
No Reds player has been better lately than closer Aroldis
Chapman, who stopped an eighth-inning rally attempt Friday and
converted his 18th straight save opportunity. He’s thrown 19 2-3
consecutive scoreless innings in that span, totaling 42
“Whenever he comes in we’re in a relaxed state,” Frazier said of
Chapman, who has a 0.18 ERA against NL teams this year. “You know
he’s going to throw that fire.”
The Reds should be boosted Saturday by how Bronson Arroyo (7-7,
4.05) has fared at Wrigley over his last six outings, going 4-0
with a 2.58 ERA. He lost his lone start against the Cubs this year
by yielding three runs over six innings in a 3-1 defeat May 2.
The Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano is a .222 hitter with 14 strikeouts in
45 at-bats against Arroyo. Starlin Castro (2 for 14) and David
DeJesus (2 for 11) also have fared poorly.
Arroyo had his three-start win streak snapped Monday at
Milwaukee after he gave up five runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 6-3
The veteran right-hander will get his first look at Cubs first
baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is 3 for 6 with three walks and three
runs scored in this series.
Castro, 4 for 8 with four RBIs in this series, is batting .396
during an 11-game home hitting streak against the Reds. However,
the All-Star shortstop had a rough game Friday, committing an error
and getting booed by the home crowd after a baserunning miscue.
“The lack of concentration – it’s still not there on a
consistent basis, in situations where you can’t make mistakes like
that at all,” manager Dale Sveum said.
The Reds and Cubs have alternated wins through the first seven
games of the season series.