Reds try to solve Oswalt in opener
Houston (15-6) at Cincinnati (15-7), 7:10 p.m. ET
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Coming off a successful 6-1 road trip, the Reds will face a rather significant challenge when they play an equally hot Astros team and longtime pitching nemesis Roy Oswalt.
Oswalt is 15-0 with a 2.41 ERA in 19 career games vs. Cincinnati, which is the record for most career victories against a single team without a loss. Facing the Reds for the first time this season, the right-hander comes in undefeated through his first five starts.
The Reds are about to hit a tough patch of schedule with six games upcoming vs. NL Central foes. The Cardinals follow the Astros into Great American Ball Park on Monday for three games.
"Early, middle, late it doesn't matter," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "Any time you play in your division, there are going to be pretty good games. They're games you have to play well to win."
Brandon Claussen will start for Cincinnati against Houston in the opener.
Claussen will be looking to shake off a tough outing at Miller Park, where he allowed four of the Brewers' record-tying five fourth-inning home runs in an 11-0 loss Saturday. The left-hander put just three innings in the book with nine earned runs allowed on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
CIN: LHP Brandon Claussen (1-2, 6.75 ERA)
Despite having never beaten Houston, Claussen has a respectable 2.65 ERA while going 0-3 in three games.
HOU: RHP Roy Oswalt (4-0, 2.48 ERA)
He allowed one run and six hits over seven innings in Sunday's 7-2 win over the Pirates.
Player to watch: Ryan Freel has had some success vs. Oswalt, going 5-for-14 (.357) lifetime with one homer.
On the Internet
• FSN Ohio
• WLW 700-AM
• Saturday: Astros (LHP Andy Pettitte, 1-3, 4.35 ERA) at Reds (RHP Aaron Harang, 3-1, 3.55 ERA), 1:15 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Astros (RHP Taylor Buchholz, 1-1, 1.80 ERA) at Reds (RHP Elizardo Ramirez, 1-0, 2.57 ERA), 1:15 p.m. ET
• Monday: Cardinals (TBD) at Reds (TBD), 1-2, 9.53 ERA), 7:10 p.m. ET