Cleveland (39-39) at Cincinnati (42-37)

Clear Currently: Cincinnati, OH, US
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Jul 3, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Paul Wilson goes for his first win in over a month as the struggling Cincinnati Reds play the middle game of their interleague series with the Cleveland Indians.

Wilson got off to the best start of his career this season, going 7-0 with a 3.34 ERA in his first 10 starts. In his last five, though, Wilson is 0-2 with a 4.45 ERA, falling victim to three blown saves over the span.

In his last start, a 14-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, Wilson dropped his second straight contest. He allowed four runs on five hits and a season-high six walks.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be peaches and cream all season, but character is made when bad things happen,” said Wilson who hasn’t win since May 25. “I didn’t do my job. I was trying to throw strikes and get ahead in the count. I was trying to pitch to contact, and I didn’t do the job.”

The Reds have dropped five of six, including a 15-2 defeat in the series opener on Friday. Starter Jesus Sanchez allowed six runs and six hits over 4 1-3 innings.

Ronnie Belliard hit the first of Cleveland’s four homers, and Japanese college Kazuhito Tadano pitched seven strong innings in his first career start.

Belliard hit a two-run homer in the third off Sanchez that got the Indians rolling. Victor Martinez, Coco Crisp and Casey Blake added three-run shots off a staff that has given up eight homers in the last two games.

Cleveland is 4-0 against its intrastate rival this season. The Indians swept a three-game series at Jacobs Field last month with three late comebacks.

SANDINGS: Indians - 3rd place, 4 1/2 GB, AL Central. Reds - 4th place, 4 1/2 GB, NL Central.

INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Elarton (0-0, 5.17 ERA). In his last start, a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, Elarton didn’t allow a hit until Mark Sweeney doubled with one out in the fifth. Elarton allowed two runs on two hits and three walks over six innings in his fourth start for Cleveland this season. The 28-year-old right-hander went 0-6 with a 9.80 ERA in eight starts for Colorado to begin this season before signing a minor league contract with the Indians on May 25. In 11 games against the Reds, including eight starts, Elarton is 3-1 with a 4.72 ERA.

REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Wilson (7-2, 3.69 ERA). In five starts against the Indians, Wilson is 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Indians - Belliard, .322 avg.; Matt Lawton, 59 runs and 14 SBs.; Blake, 14 HRs; Martinez, 60 RBIs. Reds - Sean Casey, .352 avg. and 55 runs; Adam Dunn, 24 HRs; Ken Griffey Jr., 55 RBIs; Ryan Freel, 14 SBs.

INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Indians, 9-6; Reds 2-7.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Indians - 3B Blake has gotten a hit in 13 of his last 14 games. … The Indians are 19-12 against the Reds. … A win Saturday will put the Indians over .500 for the first time since time this season. … . Reds - 2B D’Angelo Jimenez has five walks in six plate appearances against RHP Elarton. …. OF Austin Kearns had surgery to remove a bone spurt and scar tissue from his right thumb. He’s expected to start swinging a bat in three or four weeks. … OF Dunn leads the majors with 99 strikeouts.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Indians - 16-23 on the road; Reds - 23-15 at home.

INJURIES: Indians - RHP Rafael Betancourt (biceps), 15-day DL; RHP Joe Dawley (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Jason Stanford (forearm), 60-day DL; LHP Brian Tallet (elbow), 60-day DL; LHP Billy Traber (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; C Josh Bard (groin), 60-day DL; INF Aaron Boone (knee), 60-day DL; OF Ryan Ludwick (knee), 60-day DL. Reds - 1B Casey (leg), day-to-day; OF Kearns (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Josh Hall (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP D.J. Mattox (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Elarton MIN vs. P. Wilson CIN
3-11 Record 11-6
5.90 ERA 4.36
103 K 117
62 BB 63
1.42 WHIP 1.39