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Preview: Cubs at Reds

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Cincinnati Reds can't get enough of the Chicago Cubs, and they'll try to continue their dominance against their National League Central rival when the teams continue a three-game series Saturday at Great American Ball Park. The Reds have won 18 of 23 meetings since the start of last season — and six of seven this year — after a 7-4 victory in Friday's series opener. Cincinnati has won four straight and 11 of 13 overall, while the Cubs have dropped a season-high five in a row.

Reds right-hander Homer Bailey also looks to continue his strong performance against the Cubs, as he is 5-2 in 10 starts and has won his last four decisions against them. Cubs left-hander Travis Wood will make his fourth start against the Reds and is still in search of his first win against the team that drafted him. Wood, who pitched two seasons for the Reds, is 0-1 with a 4.42 ERA in three outings against Cincinnati.

TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), Fox Sports Ohio (Cincinnati)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24 ERA) vs. Reds RH Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.09)

Wood has recorded nine straight quality starts to open the season — the first Cubs pitcher to do so since Mordecai Brown in 1908. He won his last two decisions prior to his last outing when he allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings in a 4-3 loss to the Mets. Wood pitched well against the Reds on April 22, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 frames, but didn't get a decision as the Cubs lost 5-4 in 13 innings.

Bailey has strung together two strong outings in a row, following up a complete-game victory at Miami on May 14 with seven scoreless innings last time out at Philadelphia. He limited the Phillies to five hits but didn't get a decision as his team suffered a 3-2 loss. Bailey has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his nine outings this season and has recorded six or more strikeouts six times.

WALK-OFFS

1. Chicago pitchers have 15 RBIs in May, the most by the team's hurlers in a single month since they had 15 in August 1937.

2. Reds 1B Joey Votto is 24-for-47 with four homers during a 12-game hitting streak, and 2B Brandon Phillips has gone 15-for-46 while hitting safely in 11 straight.

3. Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo is 0-for-22 with nine strikeouts over the past five games after hitting .386 over his previous 14 contests.

PREDICTION: Reds 4, Cubs 2

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130525/preview-cubs-at-reds