MLB

more stats

National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, July 26 (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (56-44) at Cincinnati Reds (51-51), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Gio Gonzalez (6-5, 3.74) Cincinnati - Johnny Cueto (10-6, 2.18)

(SportsNetwork.com) - If not Johnny Cueto, then who for the Cincinnati Reds?

The reeling Reds, losers of seven straight games since the All-Star break, turn to their Dominican-born ace to end the skid on Saturday afternoon, when they host the Washington Nationals in game two of a three-game weekend series at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati won seven of nine games before the break to close within 1 1/2 games of the lead in the National League's Central Division, but has subsequently been swept by the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers before dropping the opener of the series with the Nationals on Friday, 4-1.

The most recent loss dropped the Reds to .500 for the first time since late June, and another loss will mean the team's first eight-game losing streak since 2009.

Cincinnati has scored only 13 runs in the seven-game slide.

"It's just really a mental game," manager Bryan Price said. "When we were going good before the break, nobody was pressing. Now, everybody's pressing."

Cueto has been superb throughout the season and is 5-1 in his last eight starts. His strikeout and earned run average numbers -- 148 and 2.18 -- are among the best in the major leagues, and his opposition batting average (.184) is No. 1 overall.

Still, he was dinged for two runs and walked four batters in five innings and got a no decision in the Reds' 3-2 loss to the Yankees on Sunday. It was only the third time this season in which Cueto failed to last six innings.

He's 7-3 with a 1.93 ERA over 11 home starts in 2014 and 3-1 with a 5.34 ERA in five career meetings with the Nationals in Cincinnati. He was a 9-4 loser, however, when the Reds visited Washington in May.

Nationals leadoff man Denard Span had three hits in that game and four in Friday's series opener.

"He's been great," manager Matt Williams said. "The key for him is hitting the ball back through the middle."

Washington is 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Atlanta in the NL's East Division, and starter Gio Gonzalez gets a chance for redemption after tossing just 3 1/3 innings on Sunday against Milwaukee, in his first start after the All-Star break.

"It's one of those games where you have to brush under the rug," the left- hander said. "Nine days off, it didn't help."

In four career meetings with the Reds, he's 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA. In one career start at Great American Ball Park in 2012, he gave up two runs in five innings of a 7-3 win.

Cincinnati took two of three from the Nats earlier this season.

07/26 10:22:16 ET

TV
  • Hoops Headquarters: Final Four Special

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBS Sports Spectacular: NCAA March Madness Confidential

    Sunday at 5:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship

    Monday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
Final
PHI 9
ATL 2
Final
MIN 4
BOS 4
Final
HOU 3
DET 2
Final
NYY 0
TAM 3
Final
BOS 7
TOR 9
Final
MIA 8
WAS 0
Final
NYM 4
STL 5
Final
OAK 4
ANA 1
Final
KAN 4
LOS 4
Final
CIN 0
ARI 3
Final
SEA 4
CWS 12
Final
SFG 5
CLE 2
Final
CHC 11
MIL 7
Final
CWS 2
SDP 8
Final
COL 10
TEX 4
Final
BAL 3
PIT 3
 
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
Final
WAS 106
PHI 93
Final
ORL 91
SAN 103
Final
NYK 98
BRK 100
Final
BOS 100
IND 87
Final
MIL 95
CHI 91
Final
OKC 131
DAL 135
Final
HOU 115
SAC 111
Final
MIN 99
TOR 113
4th
UTA 89
DEN 74
 
Half
POR 68
LAC 55
 
1st
LAL 31
NOP 29
 
Final
LAMON 62
LOYC 63
 
Final
BUF 4
TOR 3
Final
PIT 1
PHI 4
2nd
ANA 2
EDM 0
 
1st
SJS 0
COL 0