HEADLINE

Wainwright aims to keep Cardinals ahead vs. Reds

Field Level Media

July 19, 2019 at 5:06 am.

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright has dominated a lot of teams in his 14-year major league career, but the Cincinnati Reds haven’t been one of them.

Wainwright will try to buck that trend when he faces the Reds on Friday night in the second game of a four-game series in Cincinnati.

Wainwright is 9-12 in 30 career games (25 starts) against the Reds with a 5.01 ERA. It’s his worst winning percentage and highest ERA against any team he has faced more than three times in his career.

Wainwright, who turns 38 next month, last beat the Reds on Sept. 27, 2016, and is 0-2 in three starts against them since.

Wainwright lost his only start against the Reds this season, allowing two runs and three hits in six innings of a 5-2 defeat on April 13 in Cincinnati.

Since then, the Cardinals have gone 5-2 against the Reds, including a 7-4 win in the series opener on Thursday night.

Wainwright (6-7, 3.99 ERA) is coming off a solid performance, throwing seven shutout innings in a 5-2 win against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Wainwright had skipped a start because of back spasms, but looked electric against the Diamondbacks, allowing four hits, striking out seven and walking one.

His ERA dropped below 4.00 for the first time since April.

“Nothing surprises me, ever, about Adam Wainwright,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told reporters afterward. “Adam’s a high-expectation (guy), just like our club. He’s exactly what we want, in that he’s always striving for more. So, if we’re doing well, we want to be even better. Adam’s a great representation of that. That’s his lion heart and his warrior mentality.”

Reds first baseman Joey Votto is 15-for-49 (.306) in his career off Wainwright with three home runs and eight RBIs.

Cincinnati played Thursday’s game without leadoff hitter and center fielder Nick Senzel, who is experiencing left hamstring tightness and is listed as day-to-day.

The Reds are also thin at catcher after starter Curt Casali was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right knee sprain, and backup Kyle Farmer was placed in the seven-day concussion protocol.

Juan Graterol was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday and started the past two games behind the plate, while Ryan Lavarnway was signed as a backup on Thursday after he was released by the New York Yankees.

The Reds will send right-hander Tyler Mahle to the mound as he tries to end a personal five-game losing streak.

Mahle (2-10, 4.82 ERA) is coming off his roughest start of the season, allowing 10 runs (six earned) and 12 hits over 4 1/3 innings in a 10-9 loss at the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

“I made a lot of bad pitches,” Mahle told reporters afterward. “Mixed in with some bad luck, it turned into a really bad outing.”

Mahle began the season by losing his first five decisions, including a 6-3 loss in St. Louis on April 27. He surrendered five runs and seven hits in five innings in that outing, dropping to 1-2 in his career against the Cardinals with a 5.87 ERA.