Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Cincinnati leads 1-0 (as of 9/2)

Game 1: Monday, September 2
St. Louis2Final
Cincinnati7
Game 2: Tuesday, September 3
St. Louis0Final
Cincinnati1
Game 3: Wednesday, September 4
St. Louis5Final
in 16
Cincinnati4
Game 4: Thursday, September 5
St. Louis2Final
Cincinnati6

Cardinals 2

(79-58, 38-33 away)

Reds 7

(77-61, 42-23 home)

Coverage:  FSOH

1:10 PM ET, September 2, 2013

Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

123456789 R H E
STL 002000000 2 4 1
CIN 13110001 - 7 11 0

W: M. Latos (14-5)

L: A. Wainwright (15-9)

Cardinals-Reds Preview

STATS LLC

The Cincinnati Reds missed a prime opportunity to pick up ground on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central race last week at Busch Stadium, but they at least were able to avoid a sweep as Adam Wainwright labored through his worst start of the season.

Cincinnati sends Mat Latos to the mound to oppose Wainwright as the clubs begin a crucial four-game series Monday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds (76-61) hold the league's second wild-card spot while trailing St. Louis (79-57) and Pittsburgh by 3 1/2 games in the Central. They lost two of three to the Cardinals from Monday through Wednesday, then dropped two of three at Colorado with Sunday's 7-4 defeat.

Shin-Soo Choo went 3 for 5 with a two-run homer and Chris Heisey finished 4 for 4 for Cincinnati, which has dropped six of eight.

"Every game from here on out is huge, especially games against the Cardinals," Heisey said. "We just have to show up and play the ball we can. We got them at home this time. I think we're a little more comfortable playing at our home ballpark, and hopefully we can play well against them."

Cincinnati lost 10 of the first 14 meetings with St. Louis -- with Latos starting three of the four victories -- but its offense battered Wainwright on Wednesday in a 10-0 victory to salvage the series finale.

Wainwright (15-8, 2.96 ERA) allowed four hits and a walk to the first five batters as the Reds scored nine runs in his two innings on the hill. He allowed two runs over seven frames in each of his first two outings against Cincinnati this season, losing 2-1 on April 29 before earning a 9-2 win June 7.

"You just have to throw it away," Wainwright said of his last start. "You'd like to say there's something to learn in every game. I'm going to forget about it and go back to pitching."

The right-hander, who had allowed two runs while striking out 20 over 16 innings to win his previous two starts, will be looking to become the NL's first 16-game winner, though the Reds are countering with their top pitcher.

Latos (13-5, 3.03) went 3-1 with a 0.89 ERA while allowing three runs in 30 1/3 innings over his previous four starts before giving up four runs in six-plus frames of Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Cardinals.

Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday each singled to start the bottom of the first as St. Louis reached Latos for two runs early. The right-hander had gone 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his previous three starts against the Cardinals this season.

"Latos did his thing," manager Dusty Baker said. "He threw the ball well. He got out of the first inning with minimum damage. He even helped himself at the plate (with two hits). He had as good at-bats as anybody."

He'll face a Cardinals team that struggled at the plate before Sunday's 7-2 win over Pittsburgh that tied the Pirates atop the division. Holliday and David Freese drove in two runs each for St. Louis, which had scored one run during a three-game skid prior to the victory.

"For us to come back out in a day game after scoring one run the first two nights (of the series) was really big," Freese said. "It finally gave us a little momentum."

The Cardinals have won five of their last seven at Cincinnati.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Gameday Matchup

 St. LouisCincinnati
W-L97-6590-72
Night64-4956-45
Grass97-6590-72
Current StreakW6L5
Last 108-24-6

Pitching Matchup

St. LouisCincinnati
A. Wainwright
19-9, 2.94 ERA

Last Game:
9/28 vs CHC
5.1 IP, 0 ER
Dec = Win
M. Latos
14-7, 3.16 ERA

Last Game:
9/25 vs NYM
7.0 IP, 1 ER
Dec = Loss

Gameday Lineups

NO.St. LouisCincinnati
1. M. Carpenter, 3B S. Choo, CF
2. J. Jay, CF B. Phillips, 2B
3. M. Holliday, LF J. Votto, 1B
4. A. Craig, RF J. Bruce, RF
5. Y. Molina, C R. Ludwick, LF
6. M. Adams, 1B D. Mesoraco, C
7. D. Freese, 3B T. Frazier, 3B
8. D. Descalso, SS Z. Cozart, SS
9. A. Wainwright, P M. Latos, P

Research Notes

For the second consecutive start, Adam Wainwright was thrashed by division rival Cincinnati. In those two starts, Wainwright has allowed 15 ER in 8 IP, along with 3 HR and an uncharacteristic 4 walks. What's been the issue? A lack of command of his fastball and cutter, particularly against lefties. The two homers he allowed on Monday were both on fastballs or cutters up in the zone.
  [+]
Brandon Phillips is close to becoming just the 2nd Reds second baseman ever to finish a season with more than 100 RBI. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan has the most RBI in a single season by a Reds 2B with 111.
Adam Wainwright gave up 6 ER today against the Reds but his 3 K moved him into a tie for 2nd place on the Cardinals all-time strikeouts list.
  [+]

ESPN Stats & Information