The worst teams from the NL and AL meet when the Reds and Rangers open a three-game interleague series Friday night at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati (26-41) is a season-worst 15 games below .500, while Texas (24-42) has lost 15 of 21, and owns the worst record in the majors.
The Reds lost to the Los Angeles Angels 9-7 on Thursday, and have dropped 14 of their last 22 games.
Ken Griffey Jr. hit the 579th homer of his career, leaving him four behind Mark McGwire for seventh place on the all-time list.
Griffey, who has a team-high 16 home runs, has homered in four of his last six starts, but is hitless in 10 career at-bats against Friday’s starter Vicente Padilla (2-8, 6.28 ERA).
While Griffey has struggled against Padilla, the Rangers have had little success with him on the mound this season.
Texas is just 2-11 in Padilla’s starts, and is winless in his seven road starts. The veteran right-hander is 0-5 with a 8.74 ERA away from Rangers Ballpark, and has been tagged for 15 runs in only seven innings over his last two road games.
In his first interleague start on Sunday, he allowed only two runs, but was knocked around for 11 hits in just 4 2-3 innings of a 9-6, 12-inning loss to Milwaukee.
Padilla is 3-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 15 games - five starts - lifetime against the Reds, but hasn’t faced them since 2005 while pitching for Philadelphia.
Cincinnati counters with Matt Belisle (5-4, 4.48), who tries for his first win in front of the home crowd since his season debut.
The Reds have lost each of Belisle’s last five starts at Great American Ball Park, and he hasn’t won at home since allowing one run in six innings of a 6-1 win over Pittsburgh on April 6. He is 0-3 with a 4.65 ERA in his last five home starts.
Belisle gave up three runs and five hits - including two home runs - in six innings of an 8-6, 11-inning loss to Cleveland on Saturday. The right-hander has yielded six homers in his last five starts, after giving up just two in his first eight outings of the season.
Belisle is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in his two interleague starts - both against the Indians - this season, and this will be his first career game against the Rangers.
The Reds are 4-2 all-time against the Rangers, and swept a three-games series over them at home in their last meeting in 2004. This will be the first time that Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron will face the club he managed from 2001-02.
The Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. They got three home runs, after going without one in their last four games.
“We’ve got some guys who can hit the ball out of the ballpark,” said Gerald Laird, who hit his fourth homer of the season. “It’s nice to get that back.”
Sammy Sosa was given Thursday off, but is expected to back in the lineup for Texas. Sosa, who hasn’t homered since May 22, has nine homers in 18 career games at Great American Ball Park.