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Preview: Cardinals (55-48) at Reds (51-52)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 2
Venue: Great American Ball Park
Date: August 03, 2013 7:10 PM EDT

After nearly a week's worth of offensive futility, all finally seems right with the St. Louis Cardinals.

They face a stern test trying to pile up runs for a third straight game Saturday night against Tony Cingrani and the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cardinals (64-44) fell out of first place in the NL Central during a season-worst seven-game losing streak in which they totaled 10 runs while batting .183 with 59 strikeouts in 235 at_bats. St. Louis avoided a five-game sweep to Pittsburgh - which overtook it atop the division - with a 13-0 whitewashing on Thursday before continuing its rampage Friday at Great American Ball Park with a 13-3 rout of the Reds.


"Our guys put so much pressure on themselves,' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said after his team pulled within one-half game of the Pirates. "They're perfectionists. It was frustrating for a quite a few days. It was good to see some energy. I hope we can keep riding it.'

Far and away the majors' best team hitting with runners in scoring position (.337), St. Louis has gone 13 for 28 in such situations in its back-to-back wins after going 10 for 47 during its skid. Allen Craig went 2 for 2 in those instances Friday, boosting his major league-leading average to .476 (50 for 105), and also added a two-run homer.

Cingrani (4-1, 2.90 ERA) will try to hold down Craig and the Cardinals and continue his solid run. The rookie is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts since rejoining the rotation last month, striking out 33 in 30 1-3 innings while holding opponents to a .163 batting average.

The left-hander, though, had nothing to show for the best start of his career Sunday at Chavez Ravine, holding the Dodgers to one hit and one walk over seven innings while matching a season high with 11 strikeouts in Cincinnati's 1-0, 11-inning defeat.

"I don't really care about my win-loss record. I'd rather just get a win," he told the team's official website. "I had my fastball working. I was just moving it, basically, up and in the whole time. I threw some good sliders. It was a good day."

Cingrani's only appearance versus St. Louis came in a relief role to close out last year as he gave up two hits and one walk in two-thirds of an inning.

Cincinnati (60-50) knows all about offensive struggles, having scored only 12 runs and hit .178 while losing six of seven. Joey Votto accounted for the offense Friday night with a three-run homer, and he has driven in five of the Reds' seven runs the past two games.

Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (7-5, 3.18) wouldn't object to another offensive outburst as he seeks his third win in four starts. The right-hander's career-long struggles in Pittsburgh continued Monday, when he gave up a three-run homer to Pedro Alvarez and four first-inning runs in his first 10 pitches of a five-inning stint in a 9-2 loss that dropped him to 0-6 there.

Westbrook threw a five-hitter against the Reds on April 10 for his fourth career shutout in a 10-0 romp. Chris Heisey is 6 for 16 with three solo homers against Westbrook, while Votto is 5 for 15 with two doubles.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Cardinals at Reds
Fri, Aug 2 Final 13 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
Cardinals at Reds
Sat, Aug 3 Final 3 to 8
 Boxscores    Recaps
Cardinals at Reds
Sun, Aug 4 Final 15 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 STL  +153   -155   8 
 CIN  -163   +135   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 STL  +150   -150   8.5 
 CIN  -165   +130   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 STL  61%   40%   68% 
 CIN  39%   60%   32% 

 Aug 2, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 13 Cover: +100 
 CIN 3 Over: 16 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 9, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 11 Cover: +100 
 CIN 4 Over: 15 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 8, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 2 Under: 6 
 CIN 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 7, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 9 Cover: +100 
 CIN 2 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 1, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 2 Under: 6 
 STL 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 30, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 1 Under: 3 
 STL 2 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 29, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 2 Cover: +120 
 STL 1 Under: 3 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 0 Over: 10 
 STL 10 Cover: +110 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 9, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 1 Under: 6 
 STL 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 8, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 13 Cover: +104 
 STL 4 Over: 17 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 Saturday, Aug 3
    Royals at Mets
1:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Athletics
4:05 PM EDT
    Braves at Phillies
4:05 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Cubs
4:05 PM EDT
    Mariners at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
    White Sox at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Rockies at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Nationals at Brewers
7:10 PM EDT
    Astros at Twins
7:10 PM EDT
    Indians at Marlins
7:10 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Reds
7:10 PM EDT
    Giants at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Yankees at Padres
8:40 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Angels
9:05 PM EDT
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