(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Cardinals try to batter Cincinnati's Homer Bailey for the second time in less than a week on Tuesday when the National League Central rivals continue a three-game set at Busch Stadium.
Not much has gone right at the plate for St. Louis through the team's first seven games, but it all came together versus Bailey on Thursday at Great American Ball Park. The defending NL champs smacked the right-hander around to the tune of four runs and seven hits in just 4 1/3 innings.
"For me, missing those 2 1/2 weeks without mound time (because of a right groin strain) in Spring Training kind of came back and bit me today," Bailey said. "You could definitely tell I wasn't sharp. Lots of walks, just a lot of pitches that missed by an inch or two."
Bailey is just 5-10 lifetime against the Cards with a 4.90 ERA in 18 starts.
St. Louis, which is hitting just .199 as a team, improved to 4-3 on the young season in Monday's opener, as Michael Wacha worked six solid innings and Yadier Molina hit an early three-run double, and the Cardinals survived a close call in the ninth to best Cincinnati, 5-3.
Allen Craig and Matt Holliday drove in a run each for the Cardinals, who raised their NL champion banner and won a home opener for the first time since 2010.
Wacha (1-0) allowed a run on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk, then Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist combined for two more scoreless innings.
"There was a huge crowd out there. Lots of energy," Wacha said. "I don't know who wouldn't thrive off of those kind of situations."
Trevor Rosenthal got into trouble in the ninth, walking Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick and allowing a base hit to Todd Frazier which loaded the bases. Zack Cozart singled in Bruce with one away and pinch-hitter Neftali Soto added a sacrifice fly before Billy Hamilton's fly out ended the game.
"Collectively, we've struggled to do anything with runners in scoring position," noted Reds manager Bryan Price. "That will change. It's just tough to sit through it."
Roger Bernadina added a pinch-hit RBI double and Brayan Pena went 3-for-4 with two doubles for the Reds, who have dropped four of their last five.
Tony Cingrani (0-1) lasted only four frames and was charged with three hits and as many runs with five strikeouts and four walks.
St. Louis will counter with righty Lance Lynn, who got the best of Bailey and the Cards last Thursday. Lynn wasn't particularly sharp in that one, as he surrendered three runs (2 home runs) in five innings. He did strike out seven, though.
"I was prepared for them to come out and swing it, and after the first inning, I was able to make some pitches when I needed to," Lynn said.
Lynn has faced the Reds 10 times (7 starts) and is 4-1 with a 4.19 ERA in those outings.
St. Louis has won three of four from the Reds this season.