The Cincinnati Reds (46-36, third in NL Central) are set to take on defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants (39-42, fourth in NL West) in a four-game series starting Monday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
It is the first meeting between the two clubs since the Reds lost three games in a row at home after winning the first two in San Francisco at last year’s National League Division Series.
Cincinnati is coming off of a rough 2-6 road trip out west and is home for the next seven games, where they are 26-14 this season.
The Reds are 3-7, while San Francisco is 2-8 in their last 10 games.
Cincinnati is 5.5 games behind in the NL Central, the farthest behind they have been this season.
Monday, July 1 at 7:10 p.m. ET
Bronson Arroyo (6-6, 3.61 ERA) had his worst outing of the season on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics. He gave up seven earned runs on seven hits in four innings in that game, which the Reds lost 7-3. He pitched great against the Giants in Game 2 of the NLDS last season, when he only gave up one hit and one walk in seven innings, leading the Reds to win 9-0.
Tuesday, July 2 at 7:10 p.m. ET
Homer Bailey (4-6, 3.88 ERA) gave up four earned runs in the fourth inning in a 5-0 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday. In his last three starts, Bailey is 0-2 with a 5.68 earned run average and 19 strikeouts over 19 innings. He pitched a great game against the Giants in Game 3 of the NLDS last season, only giving up one hit and one earned run while striking out 10 in seven innings in a 2-1 Reds loss.
Wednesday, July 3 at 7:10 p.m. ET
Tony Cingrani (3-0, 3.42 ERA) is back in the starting lineup due to Johnny Cueto going on the disabled list, for the third time this season, with a strained right lat, an injury that, according to John Fay, Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer, “is basically the same as the previous two times.”
He had a diagnostic ultrasound to determine what went wrong, trainer Paul Lessard said. It's almost to the identical spot. Basically, it's where the scar tissue had built up from the muscle building. It's within the belly of the muscle. It's a small tear. Picked that scab basically.
We'll probably go a little slower this time. It's probably going to be an issue the rest of the season. We'll have to take some more time now. We'll do scans to see it's healing before we start a throwing program.
Thursday, July 4 at 1:10 p.m. ET
Mike Leake (7-3, 2.52 ERA) has a 1.31 earned run average over his last nine starts, according to MLB.com. That’s just plain sick. Coincidentally, sick is also probably how Reds fans felt after watching Leake pitch against the Giants in Game 4 of the NLDS last season when he went five earned runs on six hits in four-and-one-third innings.
Things to Watch on Offense
Votto is tied for second in the NL in hits (100), is third in OPS (.957) and is fourth in batting average (.326) and runs scored (56).
Choo is fifth in the NL in runs scored.
Brandon Phillips leads Cincinnati and is third in the NL in RBI with 61.
Jay Bruce leads Cincinnati and is sixth in the NL in home runs with 18. He is tied for second in the NL in doubles (24) and is sixth in RBI (56).