Adam Wainwright, who is closing in on 200 career wins, will face arguably his least favorite opponent on Tuesday.
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The 41-year-old veteran will try to reverse his career troubles against the Reds when its Cardinals of St. Louis visit Cincinnati in the second contest of a four-game series between the Central National League rivals
Wainwright has 196 career wins but boasts a below-standard 10-17 record with a 5.46 ERA in 39 appearances (34 starts) against Cincinnati. The ERA is his worst against any NL opponent.
In 22 appearances (20 starts) at Great American Ball Park, Wainwright is 7-8 with a 5.73 ERA. He served 17 homers in 114 2/3 innings.
Wainwright went 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in three starts against the Reds last season, including losses in his two starts in Cincinnati. He was very frustrated after the second – a 9-5 loss on July 22 in which he allowed seven runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“This park has been tough on me. There’s no excuse for it. There’s no reason for it,” Wainwright said afterwards. “It’s been a disaster in my entire career. This place has been the hardest for me in my entire career. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Wainwright (1-0, 5.74 ERA) gets another opportunity in what will only be his fourth start of the 2023 season. He started the campaign on the injured list with a sprained groin.
Wainwright was victorious in his last outing when he allowed five runs (two earned) and five hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.
THE Cardinals have won 11 of their last 15 games, but lost the series opener 6-5 in 10 innings on Monday. St. Louis star Nolan Arenado had a 12-game hitting streak snapped by going hitless in five at bats in a game in which the Cardinals were 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position
“We had several opportunities, but we just couldn’t find any big hits,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said.
Paul DeJong had two of St. Louis’ three hits with runners in scoring position. He hit a three-run homer and an RBI double.
Cincinnati snapped a four-game skid while winning only the second time in eight games.
“We wanted to win this game, and so many guys came to make it happen,” Reds manager David Bell said
Nick Senzel hit the decisive sacrificial fly for the Reds. He struggled badly over the weekend, going 0 for 12 with six strikeouts in a three-game game against the New York Yankees. Senzel had two hits against St. Louis on Monday
“We had a meeting before the game and we have to stay aggressive, we have to keep fighting,” Senzel said. “We needed this one.”
Cincinnati’s Spencer Steer hit a two-run homer — his team-leading sixth of the season — and scored the game-winning run on Senzel’s right volley.
Right-hander Graham Ashcraft (2-2, 4.84 ERA) will start for the Reds Tuesday, looking for his first win since April 15
Ashcraft is 0-2 with a 7.06 ERA in his last six starts and has been battered on setbacks in two of his last three corners. He was beaten for eight runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox on May 7, and he was torched for seven runs and 10 hits over five innings by the Colorado Rockies Wednesday.
Ashcraft received two non-decisions against the Cardinals last season while allowing eight runs and 16 hits in 9 1/3 innings for a 7.71 ERA. Arenado (3 for 6 against Ashcraft in 2022) and Paul Goldschmidt (2 for 3) each homered against Ashcraft
Wil Myers is just 2 for 11 against Wainwright, but one of the hits was a homer. Jonathan India is 3 for 8 against Wainwright and Senzel is 4 for 12.