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Reds, Cards renew rivalry

Jim Walker



ST. LOUIS — It’s Reds vs. Cardinals Round 2.

After starting the season 4-0, the Cincinnati Reds lost two straight to the St. Louis Cardinals and then went on the road where they lost two-out-of-three to the Chicago Cubs.

The Reds now visit the Cardinals in a three-game series beginning Friday at 8 p.m.

The second game is 2 p.m. on Saturday and then the finale will be featured on ESPN Sunday at 8 p.m.

Chicago and St. Louis lead the Central Division at 5-3 followed by the Reds at 5-4.

When the teams met last Sunday, the Cardinals’ Jason Heyward slide into third base trying for a triple and Reds’ manager Bryan Price suggested that Heyward made a “dirty slide” in third baseman Todd Fraizer.

The incident and remarks continue to fuel what has become quite a rivalry between the two teams.

Price admitted the Cardinals might be upset with his remarks but added that there could be a response from his team because of the play.

Cincinnati will start Johnny Cueto who pitched seven scoreless innings in the second opener against Pittsburgh and followed that with seven strong innings last Saturday against the Cards only to lose 4-1.

Cueto will face the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha.

Not only has Cueto struggled when pitching at Busch Stadium, but the Reds are 1-20-1 in the last 22 series played in St. Louis including an 0-8 record in their last eight games in the Cardinals’ ballpark.

Cueto has a 5.80 earned run average in nine games, his worst in any opposing ballpark where he has pitched at least 10 innings.

Conversely, Wacha has a 2.15 ERA in six starts against the Reds and he has allowed two or fewer runs in five of those starts.