Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Atlanta at Cincinnati
When: 6:40 PM ET, Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Cincinnati Reds are off to their worst start in franchise history, but enter the second of a four-game home series Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves looking to build off one of their best performances of the young season. The Reds, who had scored just seven runs in their previous five games entering Monday’s series opener, plated that many runs in the fifth and sixth innings en route to a 10-4 victory - Cincinnati’s fourth triumph in 22 games.

The Reds had not homered in six consecutive games entering the series, but right fielder Scott Schebler cracked a two-run shot in the fifth inning before Cincinnati plated five runs in the sixth inning - capped by second baseman Scooter Gennett's two-run single. The Braves began a three-city, 10-game road trip at 12-8 on the season, but their bullpen continued a season-long trend of issuing too many walks to help fuel the Reds’ rally. Atlanta relievers issued three walks in the sixth inning and four on the night, giving the bullpen 61 bases on balls in 80 1/3 innings this season. Atlanta right fielder Nick Markakis finished with three hits, including a solo homer and a two-run single, and center fielder Ender Inciarte added two hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

TV: 6:40 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Atlanta), FS Ohio (Cincinnati)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 2.91 ERA) vs. Reds RH Tyler Mahle (1-3, 5.14)

The 34-year-old McCarthy has been solid in the midst of Atlanta’s young rotation through the first four weeks, allowing two earned runs or fewer three times in four starts. He struck out six while giving up one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings Wednesday in a victory over Philadelphia, and has posted a 1.29 WHIP with eight walks and 18 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. McCarthy has made four career appearances against the Reds, none since going 1-1 in two starts in 2014.

Mahle is one of four rookies on Cincinnati’s active roster and impressed in four starts last season, posting a 2.70 ERA without allowing a homer in 20 innings. It has been a different story in 2018 for the 23-year-old, as the Californian has allowed 12 earned runs on 26 hits (including five homers) in 21 innings. Mahle’s last outing was not bad, except for four walks in five innings, as he gave up two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in a 2-0 loss Wednesday at Milwaukee.

WALK-OFFS

1. Atlanta rookie 2B Ozzie Albies is in a 0-for-10 skid after collecting 24 hits in his previous 60 at-bats in April.

2. Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias pitched 1 1/3 innings Monday for his third save in just the third save opportunity for Cincinnati this season.

3. Cincinnati is 10-of-11 in stolen base attempts this season, but CF Billy Hamilton’s steal in the eighth inning Monday marked the first Reds’ attempt since April 12.

PREDICTION: Braves 5, Reds 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Atlanta 12-9 L1 8-4 4-5 9-6 1-2 2-1 0-0
Cincinnati 4-18 W1 2-7 2-11 1-6 3-12 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Atlanta Cincinnati
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/23/18 ATL 4 CIN 10 .206 1 .552 .294 1 .840
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta N. Markakis .750 3 2.250
Cincinnati J. Peraza .500 2 1.100
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta N. Markakis 1 1 3
Cincinnati S. Schebler 1 3 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 11.25 .206 11
Cincinnati 3.00 .294 7
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta R. Flaherty .339 21 .914
Cincinnati S. Gennett .270 24 .642
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta O. Albies 6 21 12
Cincinnati A. Duvall 3 5 11
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 3.56 .263 207
Cincinnati 5.43 .224 160