Preview Chicago at Cincinnati
(SportsNetwork.com) - Johnny Cueto tries to become the majors' first 16-game winner on Tuesday when the Cincinnati Reds begin a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park.
Cueto may stand a good chance at getting that win, as he has a 5-0 record and a 1.55 ERA in his last eight starts against the Cubs dating back to Sept. 7, 2011. Overall, he is 9-6 with a 2.90 REA in 20 games against them.
The Dominican right-hander had a five-start winning streak stopped and lost for the first time in seven decisions on Wednesday in St. Louis, as the Cardinals reached Cueto for five runs (4 earned) in five innings, dropping him to 15-7 on the year to go along with a 2.20 ERA.
Cueto should be able to bounce back at home, where he has won his last six starts and has pitched to a 1.81 ERA in 13 starts this season.
Cincinnati has won two in a row after a seven-game losing streak. On Sunday, Zack Cozart finished with three hits and drove in a pair of runs, as Cincinnati held on for a 5-3 victory over Atlanta.
Todd Frazier homered and scored twice, while Ryan Ludwick and Brayan Pena also knocked in a run each for the Reds, who salvaged a split after losing the first two in the set.
"It's better than losing, especially the way we have been losing," said Cozart.
Alfredo Simon (13-8) scattered five hits and one run over seven solid frames, fanning six with one walk. Jonathan Broxton picked up his seventh save by recording the final out of the contest with the bases loaded.
Chicago, meanwhile, swept the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, as it completed the strong showing with a 2-1 win on Sunday.
Tsuyoshi Wada tossed 6 1/3 solid innings in that one and had a no-hitter intact until Steve Pearce led off the seventh inning with a solo shot, which was Baltimore's lone hit of the day. The home run was the left-hander's lone blemish as he struck out eight and walked one to win his third straight start.
Arismendy Alcantara homered and Anthony Rizzo provided an RBI double for the Cubs, who have won six of their last eight games.
"We come to the field to try to play good and win every game," said Alcantara.
Hoping to keep the Cubs in the win column on Tuesday will be lefty Travis Wood, who is 0-6 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 starts since last winning June 15 in Philadelphia.
Wood's latest setback came on Thursday against San Francisco, as he surrendered four runs in six innings to fall to 7-11 with a 4.91 ERA.
Wood may continue to struggle, as he owns just a 1-5 lifetime mark vs. the Reds with a 3.68 ERA in eight starts.
Cincinnati is 9-4 against the Cubs this season.