Cardinals-Reds Preview

The Associated Press

Todd Frazier is much more productive at home, and that's especially true against the St. Louis Cardinals.

He'll go for another strong offensive display at Great American Ball Park and lead the Cincinnati Reds to a third straight win Saturday night against the Cardinals.

Frazier is batting .321 with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 22 home contests, and has hit safely in 13 straight home games. That production is in stark contrast to his .226 average, one homer and six RBIs in 23 road games.

Frazier's comfort level in Cincinnati has been clear while getting at least one hit in eight straight meetings with St. Louis (26-22). He's 15 for 31 with five homers while driving in 11 runs over that stretch.

Frazier connected for a three-run homer on one of his two hits in Friday's 5-3 win.

"Coming home to a packed house on the weekend, it felt awesome," he told the team's official website. "I felt like it was kind of like a playoff game."

Brayan Pena is trying to continue his own recent success against St. Louis. He's 6 for 8 with two doubles over his last three overall meetings after getting two hits while driving in a run on a sacrifice fly in the opener.

Normally a catcher, Pena has played five of the past six games at first, filling in for slugger Joey Votto, who is on the disabled list with a strained left quad.

Pena had a huge defensive play for the first out in the eighth inning Friday, making a diving stop towards the foul line and flipping the ball while still on his chest to Jonathan Broxton covering first to get Matt Holliday.

The Reds (22-24), losers of nine of their last 10 series versus the Cardinals, are scheduled to send Tony Cingrani (2-3, 3.76 ERA) to the mound.

He's looking to show some improvement after serving up a career-high three homers and four runs with seven strikeouts in six innings of Sunday's 8-3 loss at Philadelphia. It was the left-hander's first start since left shoulder tendinitis landed him on the disabled list May 1.

Cingrani is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in three home starts against the Cardinals. He was superb in the most recent April 2, striking out a season-high nine while yielding two hits in seven innings before Chris Heisey's walkoff single clinched a 1-0 win.

St. Louis is trying to get untracked after falling for just the second time in nine games.

Allen Craig is batting .353 with 11 RBIs in 13 games, and he's 7 for 12 while driving in four runs over the past three. He had a pair of singles in the series opener, including a two-run hit in the fourth.

Jaime Garcia (0-0, 5.14) is scheduled to get the ball for the second time since returning from surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff.

The left-hander made his first start in a year Sunday, allowing four runs and two homers in seven innings while not getting a decision in a 6-5 loss to Atlanta.

"I made some good pitches, I made some mistakes," Garcia said. "I had some butterflies going on in the first inning, but nothing different."

Nerves haven't been much of an issue against the Reds, as Garcia has beaten them more than any other team. He's 9-2 with a 2.95 ERA over 13 career starts.

Garcia allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings of a 2-1 victory in the most recent matchup April 30, 2013.

He's also held Frazier to one hit in 11 at-bats.

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