Reyes looks to avoid moving into a tie for the major league lead in losses as the St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
St. Louis (19-25) outscored Pittsburgh 17-8 en route to a three-game sweep, winning the finale 3-1 on Thursday. Both of the Cardinals’ sweeps this season have come against the Pirates.
“I see a lot more smiles on guys’ faces and music in the locker room,” Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen said. “It’s not quiet, so that’s a start.”
Before the series, the St. Louis had lost five in a row and were nine games below .500.
But Reyes (0-7, 5.84 ERA) has the potential to end that momentum as he is in danger of tying teammate Kip Wells for the major league lead in losses. St. Louis has lost all eight of Reyes’ starts this year.
The Cardinals have been swept six times this season, and Reyes has pitched in four of those series.
Reyes is coming off his worst start of 2007, allowing season-highs of seven runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-7 loss to Detroit on Saturday. With his next loss, Reyes will match his total in 17 starts last season.
Catcher Yadier Molina has a 15-game hitting streak that has raised his average to .304. Molina is batting .373 (19-for-51) during the run, the longest by a St. Louis player since Albert Pujols hit in 17 straight in 2005.
“I’m just trying to swing at good pitches,” Molina said. “If I wait for my pitch and make a good swing, the results are going to be better.”
Molina, though, is batting .159 (7-for-44) against the last-place Nationals (18-29), who come into this series having won the final three games of their four-game set with Cincinnati. They concluded the series with a 4-3 win on Thursday night.
Washington has a chance to match its longest winning streak of the season, set from May 11-14. The Nationals also have won 10 of 14 following an eight-game losing streak.
Micah Bowie (0-2, 3.98 ERA) will make his second straight start for Washington after 20 relief appearances.
Bowie lasted just 3 1-3 innings in a 4-3 win over Baltimore on Sunday, giving up two runs and four hits in 3 1-3 innings. It was the left-hander’s first start since Sept. 29, 1999, when he suffered a loss against Philadelphia while pitching for the Chicago Cubs.
Bowie was with Chicago when he made his only career appearance against St. Louis. He surrendered five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 9-7 win on Aug. 14, 1999.
He also will try to cool off Washington’s Dmitri Young, who has been hot at the plate for the Nationals. Young went 3-for-4 with two RBIs on Thursday and is batting .565 (13-for-23) with four doubles, a home run and eight RBIs in his last eight games.