Ryan Dempster will try to help the Cincinnati Reds bounce back from consecutive blowout losses as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the middle game of their interleague series at Great American Ball Park.
Dempster, who will be activated from the disabled list before the game, will try to get his first win since pitching a seven-hitter in a 2-1 win at Houston on April 8.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 7.77 ERA in eight starts since he went on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed nerve in his neck on May 23—a day after he struck out 10 and threw 94 miles per hour in a 9-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
Rather than letting Dempster work out his problems in the rotation, the Reds decided to put him on the disabled list and send him to Triple-A Louisville on a rehabilitation assignment.
Dempster received his second cortisone shot on May 19, and it seemed to take care of the problem. His fastball was back to normal as he was strong enough to throw 95 pitches in that start against the Braves. However, they had nine runs and 11 hits in six innings.
A day later, he was on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
“We probably should have done this when I got the first shot,” Dempster said at the time. “It’s finally what’s best for the team and my health, and that’s getting some rest and letting the medicine work.”
Delgado hit his eighth career slam in the second inning, breaking a tie with George Bell for the franchise record.
“I’ve been lucky,” Delgado said. “What are the chances? It’s not something you can control. Also, it means I’ve been around for a long time.”
The Blue Jays bounced back after getting outscored 32-15 in a three-game sweep at St. Louis.
The Reds, who lost 10-2 to the New York Yankees in the team’s series finale Thursday, have lost consecutive games after winning four of five.
STANDINGS: Blue Jays - 3rd place, 3 1/2 GB, AL East. Reds - 4th place, 3 1/2 GB, NL Central.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Doug Davis (3-3, 5.57 ERA). Davis made seven starts before pitching one-third of an inning in relief against St. Louis on Tuesday. He gave up a two-run homer to Jim Edmonds.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Dempster (1-4, 7.62 ERA). Dempster is making his second career start against Toronto. He allowed one run and four hits over seven innings against the Jays while pitching for the Florida Marlins.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Blue Jays - Frank Catalanotto, .333 avg.; Delgado, 18 HRs, 64 RBIs and 55 runs; Orlando Hudson, 4 SBs. Reds - Sean Casey, .296 avg.; Adam Dunn, 19 HRs; Austin Kearns, 51 RBIs; Aaron Boone, 38 runs; Boone and Felipe Lopez, 8 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Blue Jays - 1-3. Reds - 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - 1B Delgado pulled into a tie with the Rangers’ Rafael Palmeiro for most homers in interleague play with 32, and his five RBIs gave him 93, moving him ahead of the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa for most in interleague play. … 3B Mike Bordick was scratched from the Blue Jays’ lineup because of a virus. … After going hitless in his first nine major league at-bats, RHP Halladay singled in his first at-bat Friday. Reds - After three consecutive capacity crowds turned out for the Yankees’ first visit since 1976, only 28,281 showed up on a rainy night to see the series opener against Toronto. … SS Barry Larkin was eligible to come off the DL on Friday, but isn’t close. Larkin, recovering from a strained calf, took batting practice. … RHP Joey Hamilton was sent outright to Triple-A Louisville after Friday’s game to open a spot for RHP Dempster.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 19-15 on the road; Reds - 17-15 at home.
INJURIES: Blue Jays - 3B Eric Hinske (hand), 15-day DL; OF Shannon Stewart (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL. Reds - INF Ryan Freel (hamstring), 15-day DL; SS Larkin (calf), 15-day DL; RHP Dempster (neck), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (arm), 60-day DL.