National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 20th (All times Eastern)
Cincinnati Reds (7-10) at Chicago Cubs (5-11), 2:20 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Homer Bailey (0-1, 8.16) Chicago - Carlos Villanueva (1-3, 11.57)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds for just the second time in the last 18 games at Wrigley Field on Saturday. Today, Chicago aims to finally win its first series of the 2014 season.
The Cubs haven't posted a series victory in its last 10 such tries since taking two-of-three in Cincinnati, Sept. 9-11 of last season.
Carlos Villanueva can help the cause for the Cubs when he takes the mound. The right-hander is coming off one of the worst starts of his career. He gave up 10 hits and a career-high nine runs over three-plus innings of a 10-4 loss at St. Louis last Saturday. He's 2-3 with a 4.12 ERA in 25 games (seven starts) against the Reds.
Homer Bailey, who is also off to a struggling start in 2014, counters for Cincinnati. The righty didn't get a decision on Monday against Pittsburgh after surrendering eight hits and five runs in five frames. Bailey had nine strikeouts in the game that was eventually suspended by rain, but completed the next day.
Bailey is 7-2 with a 4.48 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cubs.
Yesterday, Welington Castillo, Darwin Barney and Mike Olt all homered in Chicago's 8-4 win. Castillo had a two-run homer among his two hits, Barney also belted a two-run shot and Olt added a solo blast to help the Cubs halt a five-game losing streak. Chicago had mustered a mere one run total over its last three defeats.
Emilio Bonifacio contributed three hits and scored twice, while Justin Ruggiano went 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the win.
The surge enabled Edwin Jackson (1-1) to pick up his first win of the season after he allowed two runs while scattering eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.
"I felt like I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes," said Jackson. "I was able to mix it up well. Great defense behind me definitely helped."
Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton both had three hits for Cincinnati, which took Friday's opener of this three-game set and had won three straight overall. Devin Mesoraco ended 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the setback.
Tony Cingrani (1-2) was dealt the loss after permitting three runs in five innings.
"They laid off some tough pitches," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "He just wasn't the same guy we've seen here most of the time in Cincinnati, just kind of sporadic with his location."
Cincinnati was 14-5 versus the Cubs last season. The last time the Reds lost a season series to the Cubs was in 2009.
04/20 10:29:34 ET