The St. Louis Cardinals look to continue their steady ascent in the standings on Tuesday when they visit the Cincinnati Reds in the second contest of their three-game series.
The Cardinals posted their 12th win in 19 outings with a 3-1 victory in the series opener on Monday. The win moved St. Louis to within 2 1/2 games of Cincinnati in the race for the second wild card in the National League.
The Reds, in turn, have struggled to locate their offense of late. They have mustered just one run in each contest of their three-game skid.
Paul Goldschmidt belted a two-run homer in the first inning, marking the 11th time in his career that he’s gone deep at Great American Ball Park. Goldschmidt has recorded 14 multi-hit games in August while batting .350 this month.
“(I’m) trying to have good at-bats and (have been) able to put it together this month,” Goldschmidt said. “Hopefully just keep it going. We have a lot of games to go. Just trying to do my job.”
Giovanny Gallegos did his job on Monday by retiring the side in the ninth inning to secure his third save of the season. The subject of the Cardinals’ closer has been a sore spot of late after Alex Reyes sustained his third blown save in his last five opportunities on Sunday.
“It doesn’t matter what situation it is in the game or (how) late in the game — I try to be ready and help the team win a game,” Gallegos said.
St. Louis right-hander Miles Mikolas (0-1, 2.70 ERA) will make his fourth start of the season on Tuesday.
Mikolas, 33, received a no-decision in his last outing after allowing three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Mikolas owns a 2-3 record with a 4.79 ERA in 10 career appearances (eight starts) versus Cincinnati.
Reds right-hander Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.91) will look for his fifth straight winning decision on Tuesday.
Gray, 31, has tossed consecutive scoreless outings in his last two trips to the mound. He yielded just one hit over seven innings in a 5-3 victory over Miami on Aug. 20 before permitting three hits in six frames six days later in a 5-1 win at Milwaukee.
“He’s told me a couple of times along the way that he’s getting close,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said of Gray. “I think what he means is really close to what he did (Thursday against the Brewers). That’s about as good as you can do against that lineup.”
Gray, however, has been ravaged for 13 runs on 14 hits in seven innings en route to losing both encounters with the Cardinals this season. He is 1-4 with a 6.82 ERA in seven career starts versus St. Louis.
NL Player of the Week Tommy Edman is 5-for-11 in his career against Gray, but the hurler has handcuffed Goldschmidt (1-for-16) and Paul DeJong (2-for-12).
Kyle Farmer had a solo homer and double on Monday after going 0-for-12 in his previous three games.
–Field Level Media
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