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Reds need to keep winning as they host Indians

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

CINCINNATI — It’s billed as the Battle of Ohio, but for the Cincinnati Reds it’s more about tightening up the National League Central Division race.
The Reds are fifth in the NL Central at 41-44, but they are only three and one-half games behind first-place Milwaukee after they won two-of-three games from the Brewers this week.
The Indians are 48-38 and six games back of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Injuries to the pitching staff have hampered the Indians who are second in the wild card race.
The teams meet Saturday and Sunday before the mid-season All-Star break. Cleveland is the host for Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Here’s a look at Saturday’s game:
PITCHERS: Indians’ 6-foot-3, 200-pound 24-year-old right-hander “Not Justin” Shane Bieber is 7-3 with a 3.54 earned run average in 17 starts. He has 133 strikeouts and only 23 walks in 104.1 innings.
The Reds’ 6-1, 195-pound right-hander Anthony DeSclafani has pitched well in his last few starts and is 5-4 on the season. In 16 games, DeSclafani has a 4.35 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 24 walks in 80.2 innings.
HITTING: Indians’ first baseman Carlos Santana leads the team with a .302 batting average, 19 home runs and 52 runs batted in. He will be on the AL All-Star team. Shortstop Francisco Lindor is hitting .293 with 12 homers and 30 RBI. Catcher Roberto Perez had 15 HRS and 34 RBI while batting .242. Leftfielder Jake Bauers had 10 HRs, 32 RBI and is hitting .238.
Reds’ shortstop Jose Inglesias leads the team with a .289 batting average to go with five HRs ad 33 RBI. First baseman Joey Votto has raised his batting average for .206 to .271 and he leads the team with 44 runs scored. He had eight HRs and 22 RBI.
Third baseman Eugenio Suarez leads the team with 20 HRs and 54 RBI while hitting. 251. Right-fielder Yasiel Puig has 19 HRs and 49 RBI and a .247 average. Utility man Derek Dietrich had 18 HRs and 40 RBI while left-fielder Jesse Winker had 13 HRs, 26 RBI and a .257 average.