Reds-Diamondbacks Preview

Based on his history versus Arizona, it would seem Cincinnati’s

Johnny Cueto has a good chance to take over the major league lead

in wins.

One of the frontrunners for the NL’s rookie of the year, the

Diamondbacks’ Wade Miley is not too far behind the Reds’ ace when

it comes to winning games.

Two of the NL’s top pitchers oppose each other Tuesday night at

Chase Field when the NL Central-leading Reds try to hand the

Diamondbacks a fifth consecutive loss.

Cueto (16-6, 2.47 ERA) appeared in good position to become the

majors’ first 17-game winner when he left in the sixth inning of

Thursday’s contest at Philadelphia with a 3-0 lead after 111

pitches. However, the NL ERA leader was charged with two runs and

the Reds’ bullpen could not hold the advantage en route to a 4-3,

11-inning defeat.

Including that outing, Cueto is 7-1 with a 2.70 in nine

starts.

That stretch featured a July 17 home start against the

Diamondbacks (64-65), where the right-hander allowed four hits and

four walks in six innings of a 4-0 win to improve to 4-0 with a

1.45 ERA in five starts versus Arizona. Cueto, 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA

in two starts at Chase Field, has thrown 12 scoreless innings in

his last two outings overall against the Diamondbacks.

The day before Cueto stymied them last month, Miley (14-8, 2.80)

gave up three runs and struck out six in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-3 win

in his first appearance against Cincinnati.

The left-hander has allowed one run over 14 innings while

winning his last two starts overall. He yielded four hits in eight

innings of a 3-0 victory that completed a doubleheader sweep of

Miami on Wednesday. Over his last five starts, Miley is 3-2 with a

1.67 ERA.

“He’s a strike thrower,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen told the

Diamondbacks’ official website. “A lot of strikes. This kid, he’s

got good stuff. He’s got a lot of confidence. I love the way they

handle him.”

While the Reds (78-52) maintain a six-game division lead, the

Diamondbacks are starting to fade from postseason contention.

Bronson Arroyo threw six solid innings and hit a tiebreaking solo

homer in the sixth inning of Cincinnati’s 3-2 victory Monday at

Arizona. Aroldis Chapman converted a franchise-record 24th

consecutive save for his 32nd of the season.

“We take the blessings that we have been given,” said manager

Dusty Baker, who recorded his 400th win with the Reds.

Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips, who had two hits

with an RBI, is batting .419 (13 for 31) in his last eight games

following a 4-for-31 stretch. He’s hit .373 with 12 RBIs in his

last 13 games at Chase Field.

The Diamondbacks have scored nine runs during a four-game skid

that’s come while going 2-6 on a 10-game homestand.

Justin Upton homered and had two of Arizona’s five hits Monday.

Despite missing three games with a tight hamstring, Upton has

batted .478 (11 for 23) with two home runs and seven RBIs in his

last six games after he went 0 for 11 in his previous three

contests.

He’s 4 for 12 with a double and two homers against Cueto.