Prior to this week, Cincinnati had not fared well in its rare interleague meetings with the Oakland Athletics. The 2010 Reds have started turning that around.
After clinching their first interleague series win against the A’s, the Reds will try to complete the three-game sweep Wednesday in Oakland.
Cincinnati (39-33) swept Oakland to win the 1990 World Series but went 1-8 against the A’s in interleague play before winning the first two meetings this week.
After totaling one run while being swept in Seattle over the weekend, the Reds offense has woken up against the A’s. One night after Cincinnati hit three home runs in the 10th inning to win 6-4, Brandon Phillips(notes) and Jay Bruce(notes) each had three hits in Tuesday’s 4-2 victory.
“I just think we learned our lesson in Seattle,” said Phillips, who’s 4 for 10 in this series after going 1 for 11 at Seattle. “We’ve just got to get our pitches to hit. It’s time to battle down, forget Seattle and move on.”
Oakland (34-39), meanwhile, has lost nine of 11 - all against NL opponents.
“We’re playing the game solid, just coming up short,” manager Bob Geren told the Athletics’ official website.
Cincinnati’s Joey Votto(notes), who had an RBI double Tuesday, is 3 for 10 with four RBIs in the series. The first baseman has reached base safely in 31 straight games. He’s batting .359 with nine RBIs in his last 10.
“It’s part of the game,” Cueto told the Reds’ official website. “I like the competition. Some day, I want to be like (Lee) - one of the best pitchers in the big leagues.”
Cueto is 4-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 10 interleague starts.
Oakland’s Coco Crisp(notes), who has never faced Cueto, looks to build on Tuesday’s effort after hitting a two-run home run in his first game since coming off his second stint on the disabled list. Signed to a $5.25 million, one-year deal, Crisp is 3 for 10 with five RBIs in three games for the A’s this season.
“I’m eager to play,” said Crisp, who has dealt with a broken left finger and strained rib cage this season. “I just roll with the punches. Hopefully I can finish the season without any more major injuries.”
Vin Mazzaro(notes) (2-1, 5.22) will start for Oakland. The right-hander, 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA in four starts, allowed four runs in five innings and didn’t get a decision in a 6-4 loss at St. Louis on Friday.
Making his first appearance against Cincinnati, Mazzaro is 0-4 with a 5.03 ERA in six interleague starts.