What's buzzing:

Diamondbacks-Reds Preview

AP - Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are struggling to score with a depleted lineup and needed an outstanding pitching performance to even their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

That's something the Reds could once count on from Alfredo Simon.

The right-hander looks to avoid his third straight loss since the All-Star break while leading Cincinnati to back-to-back victories for the first time in three weeks Wednesday against the visiting Diamondbacks.

The Reds have totaled a MLB-low 20 runs while batting just .176 during a 2-9 stretch that has dropped them from 1 1/2 games back of NL Central-leading Milwaukee to six off the pace heading into Tuesday.

Cincinnati, already playing without injured sluggers Joey Votto (knee) and Brandon Phillips (thumb), had to place Jay Bruce on the bereavement list for undisclosed reasons. Bruce had been 3 for 36 over his last 10 contests.

Todd Frazier broke out of his 3-for-27 slide Tuesday, going 2 for 4 with an RBI in a 3-0 victory. The Reds (53-53) snapped a two-game skid and gained a game with the Brewers' loss at Tampa Bay.

Right-hander Mike Leake aided the lackluster offense with an RBI single while giving up five hits over 7 2-3 innings.

"Fantastic job," Frazier said. "We needed it."

Now the Reds hope Simon (12-5, 2.86 ERA) can have a similar outing as they try to win two straight for the first time since a five-game run from July 6-9.

Although he went 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA in eight starts leading up to his first All-Star appearance, Simon has allowed seven runs over 9 1-3 innings while losing his last two. On Friday, he gave up three runs and a season-high nine hits over just 4 1-3 innings in a 4-1 home loss to Washington.

"I like to stay with my starters," manager Bryce Price said. "I think they've earned the right to work out of trouble, but he wasn't getting better. You start to lose hope."

Simon is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five career appearances against the Diamondbacks. In his only start versus Arizona, he surrendered three runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-3 win at Chase Field on June 1.

Aaron Hill, who is 0 for 7 versus Simon, was hitless in three at-bats in his return to the lineup after being limited to one pinch-hitting appearance in the last two games because of a bruised right hand.

Paul Goldschmidt is 1 for 16 with seven strikeouts in the last four games for the Diamondbacks, who have totaled four runs while hitting .168 over their last three after getting shut out for the ninth time Tuesday.

Arizona's Wade Miley (6-7, 4.34) went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his first four July starts, but he's looking to get back on track after allowing six runs - five earned - over five innings in a 9-5 loss at Philadelphia on Friday.

"He wasn't very good," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He didn't have a good feel with his pitches."

The left-hander hasn't been much better when he's faced the Reds, going 1-2 with a 5.01 ERA in four career starts. He opposed Simon in the June meeting and allowed four solo home runs over six innings to take the loss.

Chris Heisey, Frazier, Ryan Ludwick and Zack Cozart each went deep off Miley in that contest. Heisey is 4 for 8 against him, while Ludwick is 3 for 8 with two homers.

View Comments (1)
  • Cruz hits 30th homer, Mariners beat Rockies 8-7

    Cruz hits 30th homer, Mariners beat Rockies 8-7

    Once again, Felix Hernandez came back strong after a loss. Hernandez pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Nelson Cruz homered in a fourth consecutive game to reach 30 for the season, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Colorado Rockies 8-7 on … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago
  • Cubs, Pirates postponed after 2 long rain delays

    Cubs, Pirates postponed after 2 long rain delays

    ''I'm going to do everything I can to make it back,'' the 38-year-old Burnett said. Hours later, the scheduled game between the Pirates and Chicago Cubs was postponed after two rain delays totaling almost 3 1/2 hours. Doctors told Burnett to rest … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Adam Jones, Caleb Joseph homer as Orioles beat Athletics 9-2

    Adam Jones, Caleb Joseph homer as Orioles beat Athletics 9-2

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Chris Davis hit a three-run shot in the first inning for his 27th homer to back rookie Tyler Wilson's impressive spot start, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics 9-2 on Monday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago
  • Solarte's two homers lift Padres to 13-5 rout of Brewers

    Solarte's two homers lift Padres to 13-5 rout of Brewers

    The San Diego Padres got production throughout their batting order, including two homers by Yangervis Solarte, to rout the Brewers. When we're all clicking everyone saw what we are capable of,'' said Jedd Gyorko, who homered and had three hits … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • 8/3/15 CG: ARI@WSH

    8/3/15 CG: ARI@WSH

    8/3/15 Condensed Game: ARI@WSH … More »

    MLB.com - 28 minutes ago