The visiting Cincinnati Reds will try to continue their climb toward the National League playoff bracket when they face the St. Louis Cardinals again on Saturday.
The Reds (20-25) scored a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals (19-19) on Friday night in the opener of the three-game series at Busch Stadium. Cincinnati moved within 2 1/2 games of second-place St. Louis in the division.
Red manager David Bell opted to schedule rookie Tejay Antone (0-1, 2.49 ERA) for the start Saturday, skipping over Anthony DeSclafani, who has failed to last more than 4 1/3 innings in his past four starts. DeSclafani (1-2, 7.20 ERA) is 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals this season.
Antone came out of the bullpen to throw 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the Cardinals during Cincinnati’s 3-0 loss on Aug. 22. His past two appearances have come as a starter, and he has been focused on making his fastball more effective.
“It’s just not getting the true ride that I’m looking for, and true ride is what misses barrels,” Antone said. “With the spin that I can induce — it’s a very high amount, like 2,600 (revolutions per minute) — I should be getting way more lift on my fastball than I am. It’s all because of the way it’s spinning, the angle it’s spinning at.”
The Cardinals will start Dakota Hudson (2-2, 3.19 ERA). He won his latest start while allowing three runs on five hits in five innings on Sunday, beating the host Chicago Cubs 7-3.
“Just trying to get my corners, try to keep the ball down,” Hudson said after that game. “Just get ahead. Honestly, all the way through the game they grinded me out a little bit and took some innings from me, I feel like. But just try to get the ball down, keep it on the ground and be able to keep them off balance as much as I could.”
Hudson is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in two starts against the Reds this season. He struck out 13 batters in those games while walking only two.
He is 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against the Reds. But Eugenio Suarez (7-for-16, double, two homers, six RBIs), Mike Moustakas (3-for-11, two homers, four RBIs) and Jesse Winker (5-for-13, double) have had success against him.
Moustakas was out of the starting lineup Friday due to a bruised foot he suffered while being hit by a pitch Thursday in Cincinnati’s 8-5 loss to the Cubs. Winker was also sidelined Friday with a sore back that forced him out of the Thursday game. Both could play in this series, if not Saturday.
“I don’t think it’s anything to worry about or lose sleep over,” Winker said Friday. “Obviously, it’s a little uncomfortable right now, but it’s feeling better than it was (Thursday). I’m happy with that. We’re just going to keep progressing and hopefully be back out there as soon as possible.”
Reds right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday due to a right elbow strain. Right-hander Jose De Leon returned to the active roster to replace him.
The Cardinals placed closer Giovanny Gallegos on the IL because of a groin muscle strain. Right-hander Nabil Crismatt replaced him on the roster.
–Field Level Media