St. Louis (62-36) at Cincinnati (50-49)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 82° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Mon Jul 26, 2004
  • TV: ESPN, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Cincinnati Reds will try to end a five-game losing streak as they host the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series.

The Reds’ pitching has fallen apart in the last week, allowing 44 runs during their current skid.

Cincinnati looked poised to end its streak on Sunday, jumping out to a 5-1 lead over Pittsburgh before the Pirates rallied for a 6-5 win. Sean Casey homered and drove in four runs, and Wily Mo Pena also hit a home run for the Reds.

“We can’t keep giving up leads day in and day out,” Cincinnati catcher Jason LaRue said. “We have to keep getting more runs. Just because we’re up four or five runs, it’s not over. The game is nine innings.”

The Cardinals have won 16 of their last 20, salvaging the finale of their three-game series against San Francisco on Sunday with a 6-0 win.

“If we’re lucky, we might see them in the playoffs,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “That club there, that will make the playoffs.”

Matt Morris pitched a seven-hitter as he bounced back from his worst start of the season, when he lasted 1 2-3 innings and gave up seven runs in the Cardinals’ 11-8 comeback victory over the Cubs on Tuesday.

John Mabry was 3-for-3 with a homer, Roger Cedeno had two hits and an RBI groundout and Scott Rolen had a sacrifice fly for the Cardinals.

“When you get in there once in a while, you can try to do too much,” Cedeno said. “I just tried to play like I’ve been playing every day.”

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Starting Pitchers

W. Williams Hou vs. P. Wilson Cin
11-8 Record 11-6
4.18 ERA 4.36
131 K 117
58 BB 63
1.32 WHIP 1.39