Reds hope to build on series win against Dodgers

Wade Miley interview (April 28, 2021)

Cincinnati starts five-game homestand against both Chicago teams

The Cincinnati Reds will not having a winning record when the first month of the season ends for the eighth straight season.

Despite a 6-1 start and then nine victories in their first 14 games, the Reds will either be 12-13 or 11-14 at the end of April. On the bright side, they just took two out of three games from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team considered to be the best in baseball, ending a seven-game losing streak and salvaging what could have been a disastrous road trip that started with a three-game sweep by the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I’m just really, really proud of our team, happy with our team,” said manager David Bell after an 8-0 loss in the series finale Wednesday. “You have to learn yourself over and over, and I think if anything comes out of this, it’s just remembering the importance of continuing to believe in yourself, continuing to have confidence no matter what’s going on. I thought this Dodger series was a good example of that. Even though we didn’t win today, I do think a lot of positives came out of (the series) so we can continue to get better.”

With an off day Thursday, the Reds (11-13) enter a three-game series at home against the Chicago Cubs facing a three-game deficit in the National League Central division. Through Wednesday, the Cubs (10-14) were the only team behind the Reds in the division.

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The 7:10 p.m. game Friday is the first of five straight home games against Chicago teams. The Reds play the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wade Miley (2-2, 2.45 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season Friday. He won his first two starts while not allowing a run in 11 innings and then lost his next two, giving up six earned runs in 11 innings.

Miley is 7-4 in his career against the Cubs with a 4.50 ERA in 11 starts.

“I enjoy the competition,” Miley said. “It’s always fun. It’s a great lineup over there. I have a lot of history with those guys. It’s a lot of cat and mouse. Most of those guys, I’ve have had a lot of cool battles with cool at-bats with so hopefully I can out-trick them this time around.”

Miley has pitched with an extra day of rest in each of his starts and will do so again Friday.

“I like it,” he said. “I’m more panicking about when we’ve got to throw when we run out of these extra days.”

That will happen next month when the Reds play on 17 straight days (May 7-23). That stretch starts with series against three teams at .500 or below: the Cleveland Indians (11-12), the Pittsburgh Pirates (12-12) and the Colorado Rockies (9-15). It continues against two first-place teams: the San Francisco Giants (16-9) and Milwaukee Brewers (14-10).

The results against the Dodgers give the Reds hope they can stay in contention.

“We came in here and competed and battled our (butts) off and came out with two wins,” said starter Sonny Gray, who allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings Wednesday. “We came in here and we looked each other in the eyes and we decided to play. We decided to show up, and we decided to to go after these guys. That’s who we are. That’s who we are going to be from here on out.”

FRIDAY’S GAME

Cubs at Reds, 7:10 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410

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