Apr 6, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (31) reacts as he is taken out of the game during the eighth inning of a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. The Reds defeated the Mets 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rays-Reds Game 2 Preview

David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays took game 1 of the three interleauge series last night against the Cincinnati Reds 2-1, as the

Reds’ offense continues to be pathetic and won’t shock me if they go silent again this afternoon. The win for the Rays last night was their first win ever in Cincinnati.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto hit his first homer of the season in the ninth to chase Price, but Grant Balfour got the final two outs to earn his third save in as many opportunities.

Left fielder Matt Joyce went 2 for 3 with a home run to bump his average to over .400 but as a team the  Rays have struggled overall with eight runs in their last five games and a .232 season average. At least, they are winning games.

The Reds (3-7) haven’t been any better with a .225 average and 28 runs in 10 games.

“That’s up to the other part of the team,” Friday’s starter Johnny Cueto told the team’s official website after falling to 0-2 despite carrying a 2.14 ERA through three starts.

Tampa Bay starting pitchers have been about as good, holding opponents to a run or less in four of the last five games, including Cobb’s last start.

Rays starter Alex Cobb will get the ball today,  in his last start he had great start holding the Texas Rangers  scoreless through seven innings Sunday, striking out six before the Rangers scored three runs late to win 3-0.

He’d love a similar effort against the Reds, which he probably can do it, given the fact the Reds’ offense is anemic, particularly in shutting down the speedy Billy Hamilton.

“I’ve been working on controlling the running game,” Cobb said. “That will be no more evident than today during the game, if I have Hamilton on, especially. We’re well aware of that.”

He’s never faced Cincinnati but is 4-1 with a 3.52 ERA in six starts against the National League.

Alfredo Simon makes his second start for the Reds with the pressure of turning things around for a team that’s off to its worst 10-game start since going 2-8 in 1995.

“We’ve matched up with good pitching. In the end, we keep being the team on the losing end of it,” Reds manager Bryan Price told the team’s official website. “You just hate to waste good pitching.”

Simon hasn’t opposed Tampa Bay since his time with Baltimore from 2008-11 and went 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in eight games with three starting assignments.

The big right-hander, who is filling in as Mat Latos recovers from knee surgery, got off to a good start in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the New York Mets, allowing a run over seven innings while fanning six.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is 4 for 13 with two home runs and two doubles against Simon.

First pitch is at 1:10pm, TV: FSN OHIO, RADIO: 700 WLW.


Tags: Alfredo Simon Billy Hamilton Bryan Price Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto Johnny Cueto Reds

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