National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, July 27
(All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (56-45) at Cincinnati Reds (52-51), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Doug Fister (9-2, 2.92)
Cincinnati - Mat Latos (2-2, 3.15)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Doug Fister tries to win his fifth consecutive decision
as the Washington Nationals play the rubber match of their three-game set
against the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon at Great American Ball Park.
Fister is 4-0 over his last five starts and hasn't lost since June 15 at St.
Louis. The right-hander pitched in and out of several jams in his last start,
Monday at Colorado where he gave up nine hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings
in a 7-2 win. Fister's lone appearance against the Reds came May 20 in the
nation's capital when he threw seven solid frames in a 9-4 triumph.
Mat Latos counters on the hill for the Reds. The righty suffered the loss on
Monday at Milwaukee when he allowed eight hits and five runs -- four earned --
over seven frames. Latos is 3-1 with a 2.34 ERA in six games versus the Reds.
The Reds snapped a season-long seven-game skid with a 1-0 victory Saturday
afternoon. Johnny Cueto hurled seven strong innings. Cueto (11-6) limited the
Nationals to four hits and walked three while striking out nine for
Cincinnati, which hasn't lost eight in a row since July 28-Aug. 4, 2009.
"Most teams are going to go through a stretch like this and you hope it's not
in September and it takes you out of the race," Reds manager Bryan Price said
about ending the losing streak. "It was in the end of July and it hasn't."
Gio Gonzalez (6-6) was up to the task in opposing Cueto, allowing a run on
four hits with eight strikeouts.
"Cueto has been fantastic," Gonzalez said. "It was going to be a close one all
the way to the end."
Even though the Reds snapped their skid yesterday, several players are mired
in slumps at the plate. Zack Cozart is hitless in his last 20 at-bats. Jay
Bruce is in a 2-for-28 slide and All-Star Todd Frazier is in a 1-for-17 slump.
The Nationals enter today with a 1 1/2-game lead on Atlanta for first place in
the NL East, while the Reds are six games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
The Nationals have an opportunity for another series victory today. Dating to
May 30, Washington is 11-2-2 in series play.
Cincinnati took two of three from the Nats May 19-21. The Nationals have
captured just three series in nine seasons at Great American Ball Park.
07/27 10:27:13 ET