Toronto (35-35) at Cincinnati (37-34)

Light Rain Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Jun 18, 2011
  • TV: RSN, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A brief demotion to the minor leagues seems to have brought Edinson Volquez(notes) back to the form he once flashed as an All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds.

He may have trouble extending his newfound success given how Adam Lind(notes) has been crushing the ball for the Toronto Blue Jays after a stint on the disabled list.

Volquez will try to give the Reds (37-34) their first interleague win of 2011 on Saturday night when they host Lind and the Blue Jays in the middle game of a weekend series.

An All-Star and 17-game winner in 2008, Volquez (4-2, 5.48 ERA) was sent down to Triple-A Louisville on May 23 following a 12-4 loss to Cleveland the previous day that bumped up his ERA to 6.35.

Since rejoining the big club after going 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in two starts with the Bats, Volquez has looked more the hurler who was chosen the Reds’ opening day starter. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last two starts, allowing three runs and 12 hits in 13 innings.

Volquez pitched well Sunday against San Francisco, but committed a pair of baserunning errors in a 4-2 loss.

“He pitched good enough to win. That part of the game was together. The other part, the baserunning, left a little bit to be desired today,” manager Dusty Baker told the Reds’ official website.

Volquez, 2-0 with a 5.19 ERA in six home games this year, now gets his first look at Lind and the Blue Jays (35-35).

Lind homered for the fourth straight game, a tiebreaking two-run shot in Friday’s seventh inning, to help lift Toronto to a 3-2 win. Since coming off the DL due to a sore lower back June 4, Lind is batting .413 with eight homers and 17 RBIs.

“I quit trying to feel my way out there. I wasn’t swinging with a lot of authority out there,” said Lind, trying to become the first Blue Jay to go deep in five consecutive games since Jose Cruz Jr. homered in six straight Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2001.

Lind leads the team with a .339 average. His 15 homers and 44 RBIs rank second behind Jose Bautista(notes), who had two hits and an RBI in the series opener. Last season’s major league home run leader, Bautista is batting .335 with 21 homers and 45 RBIs.

Drew Stubbs(notes) turned a misplayed fly ball into an inside-the-park homer and Scott Rolen(notes) added a solo shot Friday for Cincinnati, which fell to 0-4 against AL foes.

Toronto’s Brandon Morrow(notes) (2-4, 5.63) looks to add to that slide after being pounded in his most recent start. The right-hander surrendered career highs of nine runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 16-4 loss to Boston last Saturday.

Morrow couldn’t come up with reasons why the Red Sox hit him hard or for his 0-2 record and 6.35 ERA over his last five starts.

“It’s really tough to put a finger on right now,” he said. “I wasn’t falling behind too many guys. I was in pretty good counts. They hit some pretty good pitches, some flares, some broken bats.”

Morrow, who has never faced the Reds, is 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA in four interleague road starts.

Toronto native Joey Votto(notes) went 0 for 4 Friday for Cincinnati, snapping an eight-game home hitting streak. The 2010 NL MVP’s lifetime average against his hometown team dropped to .222.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Morrow SD vs. E. Vólquez KC
11-11 Record 5-7
4.72 ERA 5.71
203 K 104
69 BB 65
1.29 WHIP 1.57

Scoreboard

Saturday, Jun 18