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News » Reds-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-05-12

Reds-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-05-12

Reds-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-05-12
It's been more than two years since the Cincinnati Reds were five games over .500. The way they've been hitting lately, they have to like their chances of ending that drought.

The Reds look to ride a surging offense to their fifth win in six games as they continue a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Six Cincinnati players had at least two hits and six scored at least one run in a 13-5 win over Arizona (13-20) on Monday night. The Reds (18-14) recorded season highs in runs and hits, and they've averaged 8.0 runs and batted .345 while winning four of five.

That hot streak has Cincinnati in position to move five games over .500 for the first time since it was 67-62 on Aug. 25, 2006.

"Hopefully, our hitting's here to stay," manager Dusty Baker said.

Willy Taveras has been one of the sparkplugs during Cincinnati's surge. The speedy leadoff hitter tied his career highs with five hits and four runs scored Monday. He's batting .408 (20 for 49) during a 12-game hitting streak, and the Reds are 8-4 in those games.

"He's been huge," Reds shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. said of Taveras, a career .368 hitter at Chase Field. "Hopefully, he keeps it going."

Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch expects a better effort from his club after Arizona fell to 1-3 since the first-time manager took over for the fired Bob Melvin on Friday.

"They brought their bats," Hinch said of the Reds. "They did a good job offensively of taking it to us. So we'll dust ourselves off, come back tomorrow. We'll play well tomorrow."

Hinch has to feel confident that Dan Haren (3-3, 1.84 ERA) can help cool off the Reds. In spite of his .500 record, the right-hander is fifth in the majors in ERA, sixth in opponents' batting average (.188) and seventh in strikeouts (51).

Haren is 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in four games - three starts - against the Reds. He gave up three runs in six innings and didn't get a decision in one game against them last year.

Micah Owings (2-3, 5.08) will take the mound for the Reds against the team that traded him in September. The right-hander made his major league debut with Arizona in 2007 and went 14-17 with a 4.97 ERA in 51 games with the club before he was sent to the Reds.

Owings gave up five runs - four earned - in six innings of a 6-5 win over Milwaukee on Thursday. A career .321 hitter, Owings also hit an RBI triple and scored a run in that game. He homered in a pinch-hit at-bat against St. Louis on Sunday, and had a game-winning RBI double in the 10th inning in his only previous at-bat as a visitor at Chase Field on Sept. 13 - one day after the Diamondbacks traded him.

"Everybody knows he can hit," Baker said after that game. "If anybody knows he can hit, they know he can hit."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 12, 2009

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