The right-hander will try to put behind a hard-luck defeat and help the Cardinals continue their recent home success against the Reds on Wednesday afternoon.
St. Louis (4-4) opened its three-game series against the defending NL Central champions by giving up nine runs in the ninth inning Monday in a 13-4 loss. One day later, Cardinals pitchers combined to strike out 14 and give up five hits in a 5-1 victory.
After getting charged with seven runs the previous night, Mitchell Boggs pitched a perfect ninth in that win. Boggs is helping fill in for injured closer Jason Motte who could face reconstructive elbow surgery if his health doesn’t improve in the next three weeks.
“Anybody who’s gone through it knows how important it is to get back out there quick,” Boggs said. “It was a big outing for me, I’m not going to dance around it. I’m not going to act like I didn’t care.”
After failing to get a runner on base through the first five innings, the Cardinals broke out with four runs in the sixth, and Matt Adams drove in two with a go-ahead, pinch-hit home run.
“It happened so quickly,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. “They were like boom, bat, boom. … That’s how they can do it. That was a disaster inning.”
Westbrook (0-1, 0.00 ERA) will try to follow with another stellar effort Wednesday against the Reds (5-3), who produced 40 runs and 57 hits in their four games before Tuesday’s loss. He’ll also seek to lead St. Louis to its 54th win in 79 home games versus Cincinnati.
In his season debut Friday, Westbrook was on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat in San Francisco. The lone run he allowed was on a bases-loaded walk, one of his career high-tying six in the game.
“Fighting my delivery the way I was, to only give up one run is pretty good. You can’t really expect to win a ballgame walking six guys. I need to do a better job,” he said.
Westbrook split his two starts against the Reds last season, both in Cincinnati. He gave up one unearned run and three hits over seven innings in a 7-1 victory April 9 and allowed four runs and nine hits in 7 1-3 in a 4-2 defeat July 15.
In this matchup, he’ll be opposed by Homer Bailey who was dominant in his season debut Friday. The right-hander gave up two hits over six innings and struck out six in a 15-0 rout of Washington.
Bailey (1-0, 0.00) hasn’t allowed a run in his last 19 innings in the regular season, which includes a no-hitter against Pittsburgh on Sept. 28, but might have a challenge keeping that streak going. He is 3-7 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 all-time starts against the Cardinals and is 0-3 with a 5.49 ERA in five in St. Louis.
Bailey, though, pitched four scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss at Busch Stadium on Oct. 3. Fortunately for the right-hander, Matt Holliday didn’t play in that game.
The St. Louis outfielder is 11 for 25 (.440) with five extra-base hits, including two home runs, in his career versus Bailey. The 11 hits are tied for the most Bailey has given up to any player.
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