Reds-Indians: Reds Look To Finish Strong

The Reds have already dug themselves into a hole on the current road trip. Losing two-of-three to the Phillies has put them in sweep mode for the Cleveland Indians series. The short two-game hookup will be the first of two home and home battles between the rivals. Going into Monday night’s game, the Reds look to finish strong and not rely on the bullpen.

The Indians (17-17) are playing well enough to stay close to the Chicago White Sox, but they just got handled by the Twins. Cleveland is 2-4 against Minnesota so far this season. Overall, the Indians are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are looking to bring back key players.

Marlon Byrd and Rajai Davis are expected to be back in the lineup Monday night against the Reds. Both outfielders sat out Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Twins. Per Fox Sports, Byrd is struggling at.231 with five hits in his last 35 at-bats while Davis is floundering at.210 with 18 consecutive hitless at-bats.

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Cody Anderson will take the mound for the Indians. This will be the second start for Anderson. The Reds may have a chance to stay on track against the right-hander. He’s lost all six games he’s appeared in. Anderson (0-3, 7.31 ERA) was sent to the minors, after going 0-1 with a 7.65 ERA in his first four starts. He returned and lost his first start back before also losing in relief Wednesday. He gave up Marwin Gonzalez’s game-winning homer in a 5-3 16-inning loss at Houston.

Anderson is confident he’ll turn things around.

“Whenever you are going through things like this, you’ve just got to focus on keeping the ball down and trusting your defense and not try to do too much.”

The Reds (15-22) are entering the series after dropping two-of-three to the Phillies. The Reds were able to hold on for a 9-4 win on Sunday. Eugenio Suarez and Adam Duvall provided the power Cincinnati needed to pull out the victory.

Duvall has been on a tear lately. Reds fans witnessed him go 7-for-11 with four doubles against the Phillies.

“I think the main thing is letting the ball get a little bit deeper so I can hopefully cut down on strikeouts that way and use the middle of the field because I think there’s a lot of hits in the middle of the field,” Duvall explained, via CBS Sports. “That’s the approach and that’s what I’ve been working on and what I’ve been continuing to work on.”

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The Reds will counter with left-hander John Lamb. He enters Monday’s contest with two no-decisions and has given up just two runs on eight hits in 10 innings of work. In his previous start against the Brewers, Lamb jammed his left thumb while batting, pushing his start back a day. In that outing, he tossed four innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits. Lamb walked one and struck out three.

It’s possible that Cincinnati outfielder Billy Hamilton could rejoin the club on Monday. It will be his first eligible day since being put on the bereavement list, but he has the option to take four more days. Hamilton is hitting.235 in 85 at-bats, with five RBIs and seven doubles, to start the season. The Reds could use his speed in the lineup.

Worth noting

On Monday, the Reds and Indians will meet in the first of their Ohio Cup consecutive two-game series. Previous winners of the season series’ Most Outstanding Player award, as voted by Reds and Indians media, were Reds OF Adam Dunn (2008) and C Ramon Hernandez (2009), Indians OF ShinSoo Choo (2010) and SS Asdrubal Cabrera (2011), Reds 2B Kristopher Negron (2014) and Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (2015). No award was given in 2012 or 2013.

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