The Cincinnati Reds admittedly are in an offensive slump after scoring a total of three runs during their three-game losing streak.
After seeing Tuesday’s contest postponed by rain, the Reds hope the extra rest serves as a wake-up call when they play a doubleheader against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
“We’re a good-hitting team. Good-hitting teams break out of slumps,” Cincinnati’s Kyle Farmer said. “There’s not much pressing among guys. We’ve faced some really, really good pitching the last five games.”
Farmer snapped an 0-for-14 slump with a homer to lead off the second inning in the Reds’ 3-1 loss in the series opener on Monday. Farmer added a double in the seventh to account for both of Cincinnati’s hits on the day.
Farmer and the Reds are expected to test their luck against St. Louis right-hander Miles Mikolas (0-1, 2.70 ERA) in the opener and left-hander J.A. Happ (8-6, 5.76) in the nightcap. Cincinnati, in turn, will send left-hander Wade Miley (11-4, 2.74) to the mound for Game 1 and right-hander Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.91) in Game 2.
Mikolas, 33, received a no-decision in his last outing after allowing three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He owns a 2-3 record with a 4.79 ERA in 10 career appearances (eight starts) versus Cincinnati.
Miley, 34, won his seventh straight decision after scattering six hits over seven innings in a 6-0 victory at Miami on Friday. He sports a 3-5 record with a 3.56 ERA in 10 career starts against St. Louis.
Gray, 31, will look for his fifth straight winning decision on Wednesday.
Gray has tossed consecutive scoreless outings in his last two trips to the mound. He yielded just one hit over seven innings in a 5-3 victory over Miami on Aug. 20 before permitting three hits in six frames six days later in a 5-1 win at Milwaukee.
“He’s told me a couple of times along the way that he’s getting close,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said of Gray. “I think what he means is really close to what he did (Thursday against the Brewers). That’s about as good as you can do against that lineup.”
Gray, however, has been ravaged for 13 runs on 14 hits in seven innings en route to losing both encounters with the Cardinals this season. He is 1-4 with a 6.82 ERA in seven career starts versus St. Louis.
National League Player of the Week Tommy Edman is 5-for-11 in his career against Gray, but the hurler has handcuffed Goldschmidt (1-for-16) and Paul DeJong (2-for-12).
Edman worked a walk to begin Monday’s game before Goldschmidt belted a two-run homer to stake the Cardinals to an early 2-0 lead.
“It’s been fun to hit in front of Goldy, and honestly, that’s probably a big part of why I got the award this past week … guys don’t want to face Goldy with me on base,” Edman said. “Getting on base and giving the guys behind us a chance to drive us in. So we’re just trying to keep that going. Keep that rolling into this series and the rest of the year.”
Happ, 38, improved to 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in five starts with St. Louis after allowing two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 4-3 win at Pittsburgh on Friday.
While with Minnesota, Happ overcame two homers and five walks in 4 2/3 innings to escape with a no-decision versus Cincinnati on June 21. He owns a 3-3 record with a 5.40 ERA in 10 career starts against the Reds.
–Field Level Media